This programme seeks to extend the current knowledge on the use of drinking aids to support developments in hydration practice across secondary care. Specifically the aim is to increase the understanding of the barriers preventing the widespread adoption of the Hydrant drinking aid.
Work on the Hydrate for Health programme continued during 2014/15. The work has shown improved patient experience through providing a voice for those on the ward to discuss aspects of their hydration care, potential improvements in hydration care for those who used the Hydrant drinking device, further information on how this or similar devices can be used most effectively in a ward environment and raised awareness of the importance of marrying drinking device to the clinical and psycho-social needs of the patient.
- Provision of feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the Hydrant drinking system.
- Appreciation of the attitudes of patients and staff towards the Hydrant.
- Identification of barriers to its adoption across a secondary care setting.
- The project is proving enormously beneficial in increasing the shared capacity for innovation and improvement across key groups within University Hospitals Birmingham and the University of Birmingham. This will provide benefits in four key areas:
- The project's ability to produce evidence valuable to the commercial organisation, the acute setting and other Trusts wishing to implement similar hydration aids.
- The Practice Development Unit sharing of the academic perspective on implementing and evaluating interventions in the ward environment.
- Development of new skills in data collection and analysis, with long-term benefits for staff and patients.
- Service redesign group at University of Birmingham – the development of constructive relationship with key staff groups and some of the processes involved in introducing and auditing novel devices or technologies. For example, we have gained an insight into the role and impact of ward champions responsible for supporting interventions on the ward.
- Opportunity to strengthen links between the trust and university. This will provide potential benefits for the region by providing a platform to mutually explore innovative ideas within the logistical and practical constraints of the working secondary care environment.
- Improved patient experience through providing a voice for those on the ward to discuss aspects of their hydration care, potential improvements in hydration care for those who used the device, further information on how this or similar devices can be used most effectively in a ward environment and raised awareness of the importance of marrying drinking device to the clinical and psycho-social needs of the patient.
- This work will directly inform the evidence base on maintaining hydration in the secondary care environment. In particular this project will help improve hydration on neurological wards and additional wards where patients share similar physical and cognitive characteristics. This study will contribute to improved efficiency in the use of drinking devices and contribute to the economic basis for the decision on which drinking aid to use in the future.
Dr Ian Litchfield
t: 0121 371 8061