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Collaborative project up for Nursing Times Award

Teams across King’s Health Partners have been working together on an infection surveillance project to improve patient care.Nursing Times Award

The project, called ‘Improving efficiency in surgical site infection surveillance using Islacare’, has been worked on by joint teams at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH), Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Brompton Hospital, and Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

The joint teams hope to better manage the risk of patients’ surgical wound infections, by asking them to take photos of their wounds periodically and upload them to the ‘Islacare’ cloud, where nurses will take a look and assess the risk. Patients then receive feedback from doctors, or if they have any concerns.

Genelyn, Surgical Site Infection Surveillance Nurse, Orpington Hospital, said:

We take a photo of the wound on the day the patient is discharged from hospital, and then patients are sent a text message from Islacare asking them to take a photo of their wound every seven days for four weeks. The patient post discharge questionnaire is completed 30 days after the operation date, the photo at discharge scheme as an addition to the follow up process helps to identify any problems.
Doing this allows nurses to detect any potential issues very early on and provide early treatment, ensuring any infection doesn’t get worse.

Filipa, Ward Manager, King’s College Hospital, Camberwell, said:

We started this project as we needed to see the progress of patients’ infections following surgery.
Patients are able to take high-quality photos using their smartphones to send to their doctor. This is a better way of keeping on top of possible infections.
I’ve been impressed with all the ward nurses involved with this project. After a short training period they’ve really got involved with it and have taken ownership.

94% of patients in the programme say that they feel ‘connected’ or ‘very connected’ with their care and 98% feel that the service is delivered ‘conveniently’ or ‘very conveniently’.

The benefits have been amazing!

Filipa said.

Patients are really enjoying it and it’s very engaging. Families get involved and it makes patients feel like they are in charge of their care.

Genelyn Ildefonzo and Filipa Sa have been nominated for a Nursing Times award because of their work on this project.

Due to the success of the programme in cardiac surgery, the team at KCH plan to roll this out to other areas of the Trust including vascular surgery, mandatory orthopaedic surveillance, cranial and spinal procedures.