The Perinatal Institute
Innovative Data Collection System
The Perinatal Institute is a research and audit organisation based in the West Midlands which has developed an innovative data collection system, deployed in a number of Neonatal Units in NHS hospitals around the West Midlands and Trent regions.
The application collects data about clinical events that occur to babies during the course of a stay in a neonatal unit and is being enhanced to additionally collect data related to mothers during pregnancy.
The Institute wanted to ensure that the risks associated with this new development were identified and minimised. Blueberry was commissioned to review the ongoing development and to examine the current concerns.
Blueberry prepared a summary of proposals and recommendations to address the following concerns:
- Project timescales and scope – the Perinatal Institute wanted to run a pilot within 4 months of starting the project.
- End user reporting – data collected by this system was to be analysed and used by a separate team, so it needed to be accurate and easily accessible.
- Technology risks – the existing software architecture used some in-house software, which could potentially be simplified or replaced by later versions of Microsoft’s .NET library.
- Team dynamics and interaction.
Blueberry’s report included a summary of proposals and recommendations, included changes to the project team. The report also identified: areas where additional skill sets would be advantageous and where further staff training was needed; a review of the software architecture to improve performance; and a review of the proposed user interface design.
One of the key requirements for the system was that the data collected should be easily available for analysis. To achieve this, Blueberry identified how the existing gap between non-technical and technical personnel could be closed, and how the required reports could be produced quickly.
“Now that the patient management system has been operational for some time at the Lister and QEII hospitals, the benefits are really starting to emerge. In fact, the staff who originally resisted the system now threaten death if it goes offline!" Teri-ann Grange I.T. Projects Manager East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust