NHS Grampian has become the first health board in Scotland to develop a new hospital admissions scheme to help nurses develop better relationships with patients.
The health board has drafted up a new document which will reduce the time nurses spend on collecting information and allow them to get to know their patients.
The new Nursing Admission Assessment Record is a one page document which replaces the 18 page one typically used at medical facilities across Scotland.
It was created following a year-long consultation with medical staff and patients.
Caroline Hiscox, acting director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “Record keeping is an essential part of professional practice. This ensures that essential information is captured and communicated to enhance the quality of care that we deliver.
“The problem identified by the nursing teams in Grampian was the requirement to document information was compromising the quality of assessment and conversation that they were having with patients and their families. It sought to collect so much statistical information about a patient that we were missing the person.
“Nurses throughout the organisation have freely admitted that completing the form was becoming a ‘tick box’ exercise.
“The new documentation looks at the whole person, not just the condition or illness that has brought them into hospital.
“Removing the requirement for nurses to collect information, which we often already hold on our system, allows them time to focus on the most important question, asking the patient what matters most to them.
“This could be family, their work, their pets or an important occasion they want to get better for. This information is written at the top of the form, so every staff member can quickly understand what makes that person tick.”
Ms Hiscox explained that the reduction in unnecessary admission paperwork is part of a wider venture to move the platform for patients’ records from paper on to a digital format.
She described NHS Grampian as making “innovative changes”.
She said: “Patient focus is the key in how we deliver health and social care, and hopefully other health boards will see the difference the Nursing Admission Assessment Record creates and follow suit.”
The new admission document will be used for all in-patients with the exception of people attending facilities for mental health, learning disability services and maternity services.
As well as streamlining the admissions process, it will also reduce the costs of printing.
Fiona Carnegie, senior charge nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, was one of the first staff members to put the new document into practise.
She said: “The difference this has made to my team is amazing.
“They feel empowered and really understand the person they are looking after.
“Instead of spending time getting people to repeat the same facts and figures, my nurses have got to know their patients.”