Electronic patient record is making care delivery better for staff and patients

Electronic patient record is making care delivery better for staff and patients featured image
Over the past six months University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has undergone a large-scale change programme, led by clinicians, to improve and enhance the main Electronic Patient Record (EPR) used within the Trust.

The comprehensive EPR makes care delivery better for staff and better for patients in the following ways:

• Staff can access up-to-date patient information instantly, from anywhere in any of the hospitals

• Staff can access patients history meaning patients don’t have to give the same information twice

• It can flag up safeguarding needs for patients who are frequent fallers or have had infections

• Staff can easily access treatment policies

• It reduces delays in finding paperwork, improves legibility and limits paper notes lost

David Walker, Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “We are a very dispersed population in Morecambe Bay and using technology can really help us deliver services more effectively, closer to patients and to meet patient’s aspirations. I think it’s really important that clinicians take the opportunity to enable us to fine tune the EPR in order to make it work for them. Ultimately this is a tool for clinicians to use. We want it to make their working lives easier and in doing so they will have more opportunities to deliver care in more effective ways for the future and that will be good for patients too.”

Some fabulous work has been undertaken through the EPR including:

• Nursing staff are now carrying out over 72,000 comfort rounds a month on iPods enabling them to spend more time at a patient’s bedside

• Electronic Test requesting has been rolled out onto all our wards

• Emergency Departments (ED) across the Trust have taken a large stride towards being Paperlite in July and can access ED records across other departments. The move to being Paperlite will be completed pre-Christmas.

• A note on the EPR added by our urology staff, which is used after initial patient admission, now allows clinicians to use a single coherent digital inpatient record Sarah J Hart, Urology Speciality Doctor at UHMBT, said: “The immediate benefit comes in continuity of care. What’s been said on the previous day’s ward round is both fully legible and immediately obvious and the new system allows elements of that ward round to be easily dragged across to the EPR. “Another important improvement that’s been evident in urology is the ability of staff who aren’t onsite with the inpatient they’re treating to be able to gain full access to the Electronic Patient Record (EPR).”

Our midwives are working with our colleagues in IM&T and the EPR project team on a system that will allow them to use mobile devices to update their notes when they are visiting patients at home. This will be ready for the midwives to pilot in the autumn. Karen Bridgeman, Community Midwife, UHMBT, said: “We are community midwives and we need the ability to take that electronic record out into the community to the patients where we do most of our care. “Historically we know from evidence that using electronic patient records does reduce the amount of mistakes in translation with handwriting and issues such as medication errors.”

Watch our fantastic video which highlights the benefits of the EPR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuCXWCEP3zM
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