Person Centred Software, one of the UK's fastest-growing companies, is undoubtedly paving the way for connecting health and social care. The global tech organisation has recently become the first to send NEWS2 readings to the NHS via the National Record Locator (NRL).
What exactly is NEWS2?
NEWS2, a pathway for care homes, can be better understood by first understanding what RESTORE2 is. RESTORE2 is the physical deterioration and escalation tool for care settings (care and nursing homes).
Homes and health professionals can use the tool to:
- Recognise when a resident may be deteriorating or at risk of physical deterioration
- Act appropriately according to the resident's care plan to protect and manage the resident
- Obtain a complete set of physical observations to inform escalation and conversations with health professionals
- Speak with the most appropriate health professional in a timely way to get the right support
- Provide a concise escalation history to health professionals to support their decision-making
Through RESTORE2, NEWS2, an early warning system, becomes more accessible to care and nursing homes.
NEWS2 is the updated version of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), initially introduced in 2012 by The Royal College of Physicians and updated to NEWS2 in December 2017, which provides a system that standardises the assessment and response to acute illness. The revised National Early Warning Score is a system for scoring the physiological measurements routinely recorded at a patient's bedside. Designed to identify acutely ill patients in hospitals across England, the system helps to standardise and improve the detection of and response to clinical deterioration in patients with acute illness.
The system, widely used across healthcare settings (utilised by acute hospital trusts, GPs and ambulance services), uses observations or vital signs to recognise if someone is becoming unwell quickly. For example, a heart rate or temperature rise may suggest an infection.
The six vital signs used in NEWS are:
- Respiratory rate
- Oxygen saturation
- Pulse rate
- Blood pressure
- Level of alertness
Many care homes take a set of vital signs when a resident arrives to help them understand what is normal for that individual. The system helps care homes and carers interpret vital signs through a scoring system, enabling care teams to recognise sick residents more quickly to get help earlier. So, for example, if someone becomes unwell, the carer can give the GP, 999, or the ambulance crew the NEWS - this helps healthcare professionals quickly understand how unwell somebody is and how soon they need to be seen.
Care providers can share this information easily through Person Centred Software's Digital Care System. Sharing this information with hospitals or the first response team can provide better guidance, context, and care. Whereas before, care providers had to share paperwork via email or correspond with hospitals over the telephone to give more context.
NEWS has already decreased the number of 999 calls and hospital emissions from care homes. Care home staff also report feeling more confident and supported in raising concerns when using NEWS. As a result, the safety of residents has improved, and they have a greater chance of staying at the care/nursing home for treatment.
Joined up care - always keeping the patient at the forefront of care
Person Centred Software is leading the way in joined up care, also being the first:
- Electronic care solution to digitally transfer the hospital pack directly to the hospital system used by St. Hellier Hospital. (Following this success in 2019, Person Centred Software was part of the steering group to develop a national product as part of the NHS Pathfinders project to design the eRedBag).
- Electronic care system widely used in care homes to launch an integration with NHS Digital’s GP Connect HTML view service. (Person Centred Software’s GP Connect integration enables care providers to access the GP records and medical notes of those being supported in real-time. So far, Person Centred Software has connected over 22,000 residents to their GP record).
- To implement integration with the National Record Locator (NRL) to share information on residents living in care homes to hospitals and ambulance crews, sharing the eRedBag, Advanced Care Plans and now the NEWS2 observations.