Vital Signs Project

Vital Signs Project(September 20th 2021) Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is rolling out exciting new Irish technology which will benefit patients during their healthcare journey. The Vital Signs Automation project starting today as a pilot on Osborne Ward, a combined medical and renal ward. The project is being undertaken in partnership with the HSE digital transformation team. TUH was awarded an ‘Our Public Service’ innovation award to assist the delivery of this project.

Taking the vital signs i.e. temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate/pulse and blood pressure of patients is a vitally important part of their care.  Hospitals use the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) which is a guide that determines the degree of illness of a patient and determines how often their vital signs need to be checked.

A change in the NEWS can indicate early detection of infection or sepsis, and an increase of the score prompts medical review.  Previous studies have shown that staff can make errors when manually calculating the EWS, this can lead to delayed or inappropriate escalation of patient care. 

Commenting on the rollout in TUH Professor Catherine Wall, Consultant Nephrologist and Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management said “Our hospital is always busy with staff required to continuously make decisions about patient care. We are open to any innovative use of technology that will benefit our patients. The introduction of this technology is another major step in the rollout of the electronic patient record in TUH and an aid to help staff with patient rounds, reducing repetitive data entry and possible errors that may be made.”

“From a nursing perspective this is really helpful technology. It will save us valuable time in having to write down the observations as they are automatically recorded. There is less chance of error in transcribing the numbers to a patient chart or those being misread by another member of the patient’s care team. Giving us, the Nurses, valuable time back to spend time with patients,” commented Elsamma Philip, Clinical Nurse Manager on Osborne Ward where the technology has been launched in the Hospital.

Professor Martin Curley, Director of Digital Transformation at the HSE has said “We were delighted to partner with TUH, the first model IV hospital in Ireland to adopt vital signs automation (VSA) and also to acknowledge the DEPR Innovation fund for co-funding the deployment. The leading work at TUH has helped inform a planned deployment of VSA to multiple hospitals across the country which will commence later this year. Additionally the top down support from TUH CEO Lucy Nugent makes TUH a great place to digitally innovate with”.

About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, with adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with over 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country, a regional orthopaedic trauma centre and a designated trauma unit. The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance. 

TUH is one of the two main academic teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as medicine nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.