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Clinical task handover system wins top prize at Lead NCHD Awards

Lead NCHDs represent their peers at management level within hospitals, engaging with Clinical Directors in particular and the hospital manager and hospital management team.

Dr John Duddy, Lead NCHD, who led the team which developed the system, received the award from Dr Philip Crowley, National Director of the HSE’s Quality Improvement Division and Dr Julie McCarthy, National Clinical Lead for the HSE Clinical Director Programme.

The project led by Dr Duddy developed an electronic task handover system which enables the secure recording of ward-based tasks. The new system facilitates task handovers during shifts between interns and nurses replacing written task lists.

The benefits of the new system include improved safety around the recording of tasks, improved inter-professional communication, increased efficiency and a reduction in the number of bleeps received by doctors.

The system was developed after Beaumont Hospital staff met with Dr Conor Malone and the team behind the Beacon Hospital’s DocIT system. The team from Beaumont used the concept behind the DocIT system but developed a new software package designed to meet Beaumont’s requirements.

Second prize was awarded to a project based at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, which developed a lecture series designed to promote clinical leadership. Participants in the series were encouraged to pursue formal courses in clinical leadership. Dr Deirdre Kelly, Lead NCHD, received this award on behalf of the Mater team.

Third prize was also awarded to a Mater project. This project identified the need to increase medical discharges at weekends.

To facilitate these discharges the hospital developed a Criteria Based Discharge Protocol and a weekly medical hub meeting. Doctor engagement with the new initiative was supported by Lead NCHDs. This resulted in a trend toward increased medical weekend discharges, reflecting engagement and collaboration between consultants, NCHDs and hospital management.

Dr Kelly was also presented with this award received it on behalf of the Mater team.

Welcoming the initiative, Dr Philip Crowley, National Director of the HSE’s Quality Improvement Division, said: “The Lead NCHD Awards recognise the work that Lead NCHDs and NCHDs do to support a culture of quality improvement with our health service. The projects submitted are evidence of innovation leading to improvement in the quality and safety of care that patients receive. We are keen to continue our partnership with Lead NCHD Initiative building capacity for quality improvement, developing new ideas and supporting their spread across the service.”

Dr Julie McCarthy, National Clinical Lead for the HSE Clinical Director Programme, added: “Clinical leadership is crucial to the future of the Irish health service. There is significant evidence of better outcomes for patients in institutions where clinical leadership is well developed. The Lead NCHD initiative and the Lead NCHD awards are reflective of our efforts to build leadership capacity in a supportive way. The projects submitted for consideration for these awards are examples of excellent clinical leadership by NCHDs and we look forward to the continued fostering of the relationship between Lead NCHDs and Clinical Directors.”

All Lead NCHDs were invited to enter the competition. Some 37 Lead NCHDs were appointed across 31 hospitals during the 12 month period up to July 2016.

The competition judges were Dr Crowley, Dr McCarthy and Prof Eilis McGovern, Director of the HSE’s National Doctor Training and Planning (NDTP) function.

Prof McGovern said: “The Lead NCHD Awards demonstrate the potential of Lead NCHDs and NCHDs in general to contribute to quality improvement within our health system which will ultimately benefit our patients. We, in NDTP, are striving to promote and support clinician leadership amongst NCHDs and are delighted with the success of the Lead NCHD Initiative and look forward to its continued development. Congratulations to all.”

Also commenting, Dr Catherine Diskin, National Lead NCHD, added: “The Lead NCHD Awards are recognition of the work undertaken by Lead NCHDs during the course of their tenure on their clinical site as part of the Lead NCHD Initiative. The initiative supports NCHD Leadership and promotes engagement with all NCHDs and I look forward to working with newly appointed Lead NCHDs as they embark upon their projects over the coming months.”

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