About Louise Hicks
Louise Hicks is the Director of Development and CNIO at Barts Health NHS Trust. Louise is responsible for leading the digital nursing programme across the group of hospitals at Barts Health. She is an honorary visiting Professor at City University of London and is a registered Nurse, qualified teacher and Executive Coach. She is also part of the Quality Improvement leadership triumvirate and the Chief Nurse’s team. Louise joined the NHS in 1982 and has a clinical background in Emergency and Trauma Care.
Louise was a finalist for the Digital Pioneer Fellowship 2020 Impact Award.
Problem: Louise aims to enhance the consistency of high quality care and patient safety in a multi-site group of hospitals through the use of digital nursing methods.
Solution: Implementation and optimisation of Cerner millennium including digital nursing documentation, vital signs recording, the use of care compass (phase 1) plus the integration of e-prescribing during the 2nd phase of the programme.
Scale: 5 locations across the City and East London including 94 wards and all Nursing Services at Barts Health. This group includes the Royal London Hospital, Mile End, St Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross and Newham University Hospitals. This is a workforce of 6500 Nurses serving a population of 2.5 million people.
Desired impact: The project will impact unwarranted variation in care, enhance multi-professional communication, promote a person-centred approach sensitive to patients’ changing needs. In particular the aim is to enhance the detection and the accurate management of deteriorating patients and improve measured patient safety objectives. Louise will use digital intelligence to inform real time feedback and target in situ training. The ultimate aim for Louise will be to understand and proactively impact the health of the community she serves in East London.
Progress to date: At the start of the Fellowship programme, Louise’s project was in the design phase. She decided to use non-traditional approaches to engage the nursing workforce and demystify the digital piece, which has achieved full implementation across 4 hospital sites, 90 wards and 6.5k nurses. The approach moved away from focussing on training staff to a more holistic approach that took into account relational aspects of change. Louise spent a lot of time building relationships, particularly between the clinical and IT teams, and understanding systems. Louise delivered through setting up a ‘We connect hub’ on each site, which was really powerful. They started on the 15th October and delivered all of the implementation to plan, with no slippage. They are 100% on all of the wards and have removed the paper nursing bundle to go paperless. Louise and her team have been able to integrate all vital signs.
I am trying to bring elements of the spirit of the programme to the Trust. We have established a fabulous Nursing Informatics team of leaders who are taking the programme on further day by day.
The elements of the programme that created the most value for me were the Action Learning Set sessions on influencing, patient engagement and evaluation. It developed my confidence, created free reflective space to step out the implementation. It reinforced my confidence that we were making the right decisions. Also, it was an opportunity to network with totally different people.
I have seen vast improvement in my ability to drive change. I have now established a UK-wide e-nurse network to create a platform for digital ambassadors, in order to increase literacy and capabilities.”