Electronic prescribing systems rolled out across Pennine Acute Trust

Electronic prescribing systems rolled out across Pennine Acute Trust
15 August 2014

Seventy seven wards at hospitals run by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust can now boast that they have the latest technology to help clinical and nursing staff.

The Critical Care unit at North Manchester General Hospital celebrated being the latest ward to roll out the electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) with the fully integrated HealthViews discharge summary.

Medchart is the electronic prescribing and medicine administrative system (ePMA) which uses software to improve the management, legibility and safety of medicines recorded within the Trust. The Pennine Acute Trust was the first Trust in the UK to go live on Medchart

Previously drug prescriptions would be handwritten which could mean that some were difficult to read or could be lost, whereas doctors now use the new system to prescribe drugs to patients and manage discharge prescriptions. Nurses use the system to record the administration of drugs to patients and the system helps them to plan and organise their drug rounds with legible prescription information, which replaces the handwritten kardexes which were kept at the end of the patients’ beds.

HealthViews is a web based application which allows clinical staff to log into a number of different systems at any one time using a single sign in with a password to check on the records of patients. This can include requesting radiology reports and electronic discharge summaries for patients and as the system is available 24 hours a day, it is much safer for patients.

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, consultant chest physician and clinical director, who has been involved with the project from the start said:

“I would like to congratulate and thank all of our staff who have embraced and implemented ePMA which has been one of the biggest change projects ever undertaken by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the largest implementation of MedChart in the world to date. By changing work behaviours and processes, the project has had a major impact on patient care and safety, and linking discharge medications to Healthviews has significantly increased the quality and timeliness of discharge summaries. Roll out to complex clinical areas has not been without challenges and importantly we have learnt from these to develop and grow from strength to strength. ePMA and Healthviews have paved the way for other major clinical IT systems which will further improve and integrate access to clinical information whilst ultimately improving patient care.”

Mick Heaton, the IM&T EPR programme manager has directed the programme since its inception. He said: “This is a very important milestone on the electronic patient record (EPR) programme which has totally removed the main paper drug chart on all adult medical and surgical wards, critical care and theatres throughout the entire Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The full patient journey, from admission to discharge, is recorded on these systems.

“We were the first Trust in the UK to go live on Medchart. We started slowly with a pilot programme on medical wards at The Royal Oldham Hospital, to ensure that the system was fit for purpose and safe for patients. Funds from NHS England have now enabled us to accelerate the roll out of the system and we have gone much further and quicker than other Trusts. It has been a real joint effort between clinical staff and IT staff with massive contributions from the pharmacy department.”

Libby Woodcock, ePMA lead, who has overseen the roll out of the technology, said: “We are proud to say that we have over 5,000 users trained on the system with around 900 beds across the Trust at North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and the Floyd unit at Birch Hill Hospital all live. Maternity and oncology wards are planned to go live in September, with paediatrics and neonates to follow. A pilot in A&E and outpatients will also be completed.

“Clinical and nursing leads have provided immense support throughout and have helped in making this project a success. The feedback obtained from ward staff has proved to be largely positive with ward managers stating they would NOT want to go back to hand written drug charts!”