A hospital in North-East England has acquired a sophisticated suite of new artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to better manage and predict patient outcomes and care.

South Tees Hospital in Middlesborough has signed a major smart health tech deal with Alcidion, a leading healthcare informatics company headquartered in Australia, in a bid to alleviate pressure on busy frontline medical staff.

The new system is designed to help automate routine tasks, enhance patient safety and improve the delivery of care, whilst also fully harnessing the trust’s existing IT.

The trust, which employs around 9,000 people, will benefit from a modern technology suite that will allow clinical staff to much more easily utilise crucial information and insights, with IT systems working together to proactively aid clinical decisions.

South Tees Hospitals will adopt Alcidion’s Miya Precision solution as well as the Better OPENeP electronic prescribing and medicines administration system, in a move that will rapidly advance the trust’s digital maturity.

Andrew Adair, chief clinical information officer and emergency medicine consultant at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This technology is designed for clinicians by people who really understand clinicians. Our agreement with Alcidion will allow us to accelerate our digital maturity and adopt modern technology that will have a very significant positive impact on the daily lives of the people who use it.

“We have been determined to finalise this agreement at a time of unprecedented pressure in the NHS. The systems we are about to implement will help to lighten the burden faced by clinical staff who are working fantastically hard, by reducing time spent on manual processes and providing some extremely impressive clinical decision support tools. We have chosen to work with Alcidion as more than just another technology supplier – but as a partner that has already demonstrated it understands the needs of our healthcare professionals, our digital strategy and the specific needs of our organisation.”

Miya Precision, a new type of technology for the UK, was formally launched during the summer as the first smart clinical asset for the NHS. It will provide South Tees Hospitals with a trust-wide ‘orchestration layer’ to integrate information held across existing systems, converting it to the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard. This will allow data currently held in disparate systems to be consolidated and referenced by artificial intelligence and advanced clinical decision support provided through the Miya Precision platform.

The new system will automate tasks, care plans and pathways at South Tees Hospitals, saving many hours of time traditionally spent by doctors and nurses on manual and administrative functions. Intelligent algorithms and data science that underpin Miya Precision will support new ways of working at the trust and will provide new and advanced functionality around clinical noting, natural language processing, flow management and remote monitoring of patients. The system will also provide a common user interface for dozens of IT systems in place across the trust, whilst Miya Memory, the company’s mobile solution, will make the full patient record accessible to clinicians on mobile devices.

Lynette Ousby, UK general manager for Alcidion, said: “South Tees Hospitals will use Miya Precision to move beyond static systems of record, to systems that proactively engage staff. We are committed to working with the trust and its existing suppliers to unlock substantial value from their current IT investments and complementing that with new technological capabilities in an interconnected way. Ripping out investments to accelerate digital maturity is no longer the only option for the NHS. South Tees Hospitals’ decision demonstrates this, and we look forward to working with the trust to make sure we deliver technology in a way that is genuinely helpful to users.”

The Miya Precision suite of modules incorporates the well-known Patientrack electronic observations system. It will alert staff at South Tees Hospitals with early warnings when patients are at risk of harm or deterioration and will digitise how nurses capture vital signs at the bedside. This will allow the automatic calculation of patients’ early warning scores that will trigger alerts to doctors and appropriate care teams in the hospital when they need to intervene to prevent harm.

This electronic observations functionality is used in more than 40 NHS hospitals, where healthcare professionals have innovated with the system to help to save lives, improve patient safety, and substantially reduce adverse events such as cardiac arrests and admissions to intensive care. It has also been used to better manage and detect deadly illnesses including sepsis and acute kidney injury.

OPENeP – a highly respected ePMA system (electronic prescribing and medicines administration) from Better, will allow the trust to digitise its prescribing and medicines administration processes. South Tees Hospitals will be the second NHS trust to benefit from a partnership between Alcidion and Better. The ePMA will launch alongside the electronic observations and patient assessments in the first phase of the technology deployment, allowing seamless integration between electronic observations and medication processes, in a move that will enhance patient safety.

South Tees Hospitals is the second NHS trust to procure a combination of Alcidion’s Miya Precision and Patientrack systems and the Better OPENeP solution – following early adopter Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. It is the largest hospital trust in the Tees Valley and runs the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton as well as community services in Hambleton and Richmondshire, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, providing care for more than 1.5 million people.

Alcidion Group managing director, Kate Quirke, said: “Clinical staff working across South Tees Hospitals will be among the first in the UK to benefit from our range of healthcare technologies that have been specifically built to make the right thing to do, the easiest thing to do, even during the busiest of times.

It is extremely rewarding to see South Tees Hospitals enter into this agreement so soon after we formally launched Miya Precision as the first smart clinical asset for the NHS. The NHS remains one of our most significant partners anywhere in the world, and I look forward to driving forward this new partnership for the benefit of staff and patients at the trust.”