The new software from System C will remove problems with handwriting errors and speed up the process of discharge by automatically filling in prescription information
“The roll-out is progressing well and we’ve had some great feedback. By lunchtime on the day of go-live we had our first colleague tell us we could go, and they would be okay on their own using the system.” Richard Billam, deputy director of ICT, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has adopted a new e-prescribing system with the aim of improving both efficiency and patient safety.
System C’s CareFlow Medicines Management system will enable staff at Barnsley to digitally chart drugs, complete rounds and administer medications. By eliminating the problem of illegible handwriting in paper prescriptions, it reduces the risk of errors and frees up staff time.
Because the software automatically fills in what medication is required when a patient is discharged, staff will no longer need to re-enter the prescription information manually. The information is then available to download.
Richard Billam, deputy director of ICT at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “The roll-out is progressing well and we’ve had some great feedback. By lunchtime on the day of go-live we had our first colleague tell us we could go, and they would be okay on their own using the system.”
Digital information moves with the patient
The system is fully integrated with the trust’s electronic patient record (EPR), also from CareFlow. This means that clinical staff can view a patient’s drug chart on a single screen, with patient histories easily available at a keystroke. Transfer of care between teams is faster because the digital information moves with the patient as they switch departments.
The software also has audit functionality, which means that any information entered is automatically time- and user-stamped, so queries and errors relating to medication can be investigated and dealt with directly and efficiently.
The roll-out was supported by local university students who are on clinical placement with the trust. Stacey Hatton, Barnsley chief nursing information officer, said of the scheme: “Students have said that they want to be involved in the digital agenda and they are very excited about being part of Barnsley’s transformation programme and helping to unlock the benefits it offers.”
The hospital is also planning to implement an Electronic Document Management System from System C, which will involve scanning in 180,000 medical records. In March, the trust published a five-year strategy which was underpinned by a move to digital technology.
The use of digital technology within health and care is slowly, but surely, becoming more commonplace. Electronic prescribing has a significant role to play in improving patient safety. The government estimates that the NHS makes 230m errors in administering medication each year contributing to 22,000 deaths, while in the US, an estimated 7,000 patient deaths a year are attributable to illegible handwriting alone. E-prescribing can help cut the number of prescription errors, create an audit trail to identify mistakes quickly, and speed up the process of discharge.