Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) is taking an innovative approach to NHS IT in an attempt to improve the standards of patient care.
In 2010, CUH undertook a review of all it’s IT systems, ultimately concluding that many were outdated or not fit for purpose. Work began to find a state of the art replacement, capable of meeting all the demands of a modern, complex healthcare system.
The Trust then looked to computing examples across a wide variety of services, including banking, finance and social networking, to find a model that could translate well into healthcare. It was found that “fully interactive” services were ultimately the most successful, where users were allowed a full degree of autonomy and flexibility when it comes to decision making.
Ultimately, a programme to implement an "ehospital" was chosen as the best way forward in an attempt to provide safe, digital record keeping that supports clinicians in their decision making. Clinicians will be given the ability to prescribe and give drugs electronically, preventing transcription and other errors which can lead to clinical complications. As a result, the system will help the trust to raise standards of patient care and safety, with the view that this can reduce overall average length of a patient's stay.
The software provides automatic guides, prompts and alerts where necessary, fills in forms automatically where information is known and eases the burden of repetitive data collection. This means test results, medication history, clinical documentation and treatment summaries all available in one place.
As it is understood that full-scale system replacement will take up time and resources, the roll-out will be done in stages. At the final stage there will be a complete transformation introducing wireless access and the ability of staff to use their own smart phones and tablets, providing over 5,000 clinical access points including connectivity at every bedside. The new services will be fully available by October 2014.
“All in all it will make life simpler for staff and safer for patients. Ehospital will make doing the right thing the easiest thing to do” said Carrie Armitage, Director of the ehospital programme.
Original Source The Guardian
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