Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration roll out

Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration roll out featured image

From May 2022 until March 2023, EPMA was rolled out to the 14 Adult Intermediate Care Units at SCFT.

This collaborative project between the Medicines Management and Digital teams involved clinical and digital expertise and relied on project support officers who, for almost a year, provided onsite support from 7.45am – after 11pm every day.

The EPMA system sits within the Electronic Patient Record system that was already in use at SCFT, but the implementation of EPMA required integration with the medicines management system in use by the dispensary. SCFT were the first trust to use the new interface created between Careflow Medicines Management (CMM) and SystmOne (S1), paving the way for a fully closed loop supply and administration system in the future.

It supported the Digital Pharmacist to be able to view all wards as often as required enabling her to prioritise support.

This innovation means that prescribers can remotely support patient care, prescribing or amending medication from another site so wards are not left without prescribing cover.

The digital pharmacist remains as a vital point of contact for all teams using EPMA as feedback and input from the users of EPMA is vital to the ongoing development and success of EPMA.

EPMA has been widely welcomed by the nursing and prescribing staff. It was expected that it would take time for all members to adapt but the rate at which the nursing staff adjusted to the change was rapid.

Our project support officers were highly praised for providing the intense onsite support that helped the nurses grow in confidence with the system very quickly.

Immediate benefits include reduced time taken to:
▪ Locate medication charts – available at a click and no more missing charts

  • Identify patients duea medication–now a click of a button versus approximately 25 mins each drug round

  • Prescribe TTOs – no more transcription

  • Order medications – a few clicks and no transcribing

  • Carry out audits – no travelling between wards – previously a journey time of approximately 10 hours between all our wards for an audit

  • Clinically screen medications - pharmacists can work remotely

  • Investigate patient safety events

There is also no more:

  1. Scanning of charts onto the records by administration staff – 10-15 mins saving per drug chart

  2. Rewriting charts once they are full (every 6 weeks)–15 minutes saving per chart.

  3. Lost medication charts – nurses report 2 hours delays to finding charts at times

  4. Illegible prescriptions.

    From this:

    To this:

For patients this means nurses can spend more time caring for them and have quicker access to newly prescribed medication that has been clinically checked by a pharmacist.The integrated system between EPMA and the dispensary system is assisting the move towards a technician led dispensary and releases clinical pharmacists to use their clinically and prescribing skills on our wards and in our wider services.

Laura Pullan Digital Nurse Specialist

Rebecca Gosrani  Senior Clinical Pharmacist Digital

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust 

[email protected] 

[email protected]

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