Exploring the standardisation of nursing terminology and paper-based nursing assessment forms across hospices

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Explore the scale of unwarranted variation of nursing assessments across hospices: a move towards the standardisation of nursing terminology to improve patient safety, data quality, clinical and information workflow across health and care systems

Hospices in the United Kingdom provide exceptional holistic care to approximately 225,000 people with life-limiting illnesses each year. This care includes pain and symptom management, emotional, psychological, practical, spiritual and social care support for patients and family.

The nature of care provided to patients by nurses across hospices is very complex, but unfortunately the delivery of good nursing care is furthered hampered by unwarranted variation of terminology, data, the use of paper-based assessment forms, processes and information not joined up and the lack of systems integration.

The overarching aim of the project is the standardisation of nursing terminology, assessment forms and digitalisation to improve patient care, safety and standards of documentation.

My Topol project will

Research the scale and use of non-standardised nursing assessments, terminology, information workflow, gaps and variation across NHS and Social care-based hospices including barriers that limit the ability to join up information across systems and the use of healthcare technologies.

The project aims to recommend and inform the development of standards for hospice nursing assessments forms to ensure nurses and multi-displinary health professionals can access nursing and clinical information in a timely manner resulting in safer and more consistent care for citizens using health and care services.

I am an Associate Chief Nursing Information Officer-Community Nursing at NHSx, a nurse by background, with experience across the NHS, Private Healthcare, AHSN, Consultancy, IT, Telecommunications and Digital Health settings.

Understanding and embracing the enormous potential of good quality data, through the standardisation of nursing assessments, terminology, information flow across the wider health and care system to improve patient safety and outcomes cannot be under-estimated.

Standardisation of nursing assessments terminology is fundamental to meet the demands of a wider healthcare ecosystem suitable for 21st century. It is vital now, more than ever, with lessons learned from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we work towards improving baseline data quality and accuracy through standardisation to support transitions of care, improve, join up documentation, free up and give nurses time back time to care for patients.

I am passionate about nurses, the main users of clinical information systems, actively leading the design of usable, scalable nursing assessments and terminology through improved data and sustainable digital health technology.