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The implementation of a nursing database to aid in the provision of care for lung cancer patients

By Diana Borthwick, Julie Mencnarowski, GillianWhitson & Karen McCrae, Western General NHS Lothian

Category: Follow-Up and End-of-Life Care

The problem identified

We were looking for a process of collating information on our patients as we found that we were using multiple pieces of paper to record details of patients that we had seen. In addition we wanted some way of producing meaningful data for annual reports.

The intervention made to change the problem

A database was developed with the input from the CNS and houses information on patients referred to the nursing team. This system allows us to be paperless, helps in the collection of data for annual reports and also helps to improve case ascertainment for network and national audit.

How it changed my practice

The database has made a significant impact on our practice. We enter information on all patients referred to the nursing team across three hospitals. This ensures that all nurses wherever they work across Lothian have access to the patient database. This is helpful when there is cross boundary working but also when another nurse is on annual leave and a patient rings with a question. Any of the nurses can link into the database and be aware of where the patient is on the pathway and the patient understanding. This ensures a smooth and consistent pathway for patients with lung cancer. The database can also generate letters to agencies e.g.: local council departments, GPs and notes to file. This has made a huge difference in the workload for nurses when letters can be automatically generated with patient details. The database is continually being updated, upgraded and improved. We are currently adapting and improving the database to try and capture more meaningful data in order to quantify specific nursing interventions and enable outcome measures. This stems from trying to justify the CNS post and how these posts contribute to medical outcomes. Current work is looking at the KS framework and the differing levels of expertise required. In addition, to try and improve case ascertainment of the lung cancer database for the SCAN network a data feed has been established so that data is downloaded and analysed on a monthly basis from the database to the lung audit facilitator.


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