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Nerve Centre

In a busy hospital it can be difficult to maintain a clear view of available resources, tasks and task flow in the department. As a consequence, it is difficult for the coordinator to prioritize incoming tasks and allocate the right staff to the right task. In England, Nottingham University (NUH) and Cisco have developed a programme – Nerve Centre – that enables effective communication and prioritization of tasks through portable devices like phones and tablets. After one year of implementation, the solution has documented many benefits at NUH:

  • Direct savings through changes in the planning of staff shifts.
  • Increased security in the communication between transitioning shifts.
  • Better prioritization and increased overview of tasks, workload and resource availability.
  • Significantly increased staff satisfaction.

Nerve Centre in brief

Nerve Centre runs on portable devices carried by the coordinator and clinical staff. In the system, all personnel are able to specify which problems/situations need solving for each patient. This is immediately visible on the coordinator’s screen showing patient condition, nature of the task and level of urgency. Through the system, the coordinator can see which doctors are on shift, where they are in the hospital, what their special skills are and which tasks they are currently performing. Through Nerve Centre the coordinator then assigns a newly reported task to the most suitable and available doctor, who then receives a request for execution of the task on his device. When the doctor accepts the request, it then disappears from the coordinator’s list of untreated tasks. NUH has released a video about the Nerve Centre solution which can be viewed on Youtube.

Implementation of the solution at OUH

It is estimated that the solution can contribute to a more effective communication between staff at the hospital, ensuring better task and resource management, improvement of patient safety and achievement of quality objectives at OUH. Based on these factors, a pilot project has been initiated to test the solution in the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

The project started in early March 2013 with clarification of technical matters, organization of the pilot, collection of data on existing conditions and situation, and initiation of LEAN activities in the department. The actual pilot will take place in the 3rd quarter of 2013 and will be systematically evaluated based on the HTA-model to ensure an informed decision-making basis for the further process of implementation.

The pilot project at OUH has following purposes:

  • Test the applicability of the solution in relation to clinical processes and as “nurse call” feature.
  • Assessment of the technical solution and ensuring coherence with existing IT-systems.
  • Assessment of the potential for supporting quality processes.
  • Assessment of the applicability of to other departments and hospitals in the region and at the New OUH.

The pilot project is funded by the remaining funds from the “Nurse call”-project from the The Danish Public Welfare Technology Fund and the project management has been anchored in the Section of LEAN and Innovation, Department of Operational Excellence and IT.


The experiences from implementation of the electronic health record show that LEAN initiatives can ease the implementation of new technology. When LEAN is applied to optimize work flows and eliminated non-productive time in the department before the introduction of new technology, the implementation progresses more smoothly and with greater support among the employees. Because Nerve Centre will lead to a restructuring of workflows, it will be beneficial to incorporate LEAN activities in the project plan.


Eva Lund
Project managerFonden for Velfærdsteknologi

Phone: +45 6088 1811
Mail: Eva.lund@rsyd.dk

Permanent link to this article: http://old.cimt.dk/projects/innovation/previous/nerve-centre/