Patient records moving towards the digital era

Posted: June 17 2016

Moving towards a paperless health organisation is becoming a reality for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

Patient records moving towards the digital era

Electronic clinical record system being introduced to community hospitals across Hertfordshire. From front left: Jocelyn Tharby, Sister, Jo Goulden, Clinical Safety Governance Manager, Steve Paynter, Business Analysis, Janice Moran, Transformation Programme Manager and Mel Bedoya, Deputy Transformation Programme Manager.

The Trust is on track to have all staff in its eight community hospitals, using an electronic clinical record system by the end of the year.

By eradicating paper forms and recording data online using SystmOne – a clinical tool which can be accessed by any health professional who has access to the system – people in Hertfordshire will benefit from a streamlined service.

Janice Moran, Transformation Programme Manager at the Trust, said: “We so far have three of our community hospitals using SystmOne, with the remaining being trained throughout the year.

“In the past multiple paper forms would be used to record the care and treatment of an individual. One of the biggest issues was that if a patient was referred out of our hospital and into the community, under a community nurse for example, they would not be able to see a patient’s previous history.

“Not only is this a burden on the individual who will have to repeat personal information but it is not an efficient use of clinical time trying to collate information from elsewhere.

“Now using SystmOne staff can provide patients with a continued pathway of care. All their information and previous care is saved on the one system and accessed via a click of a button.

“In addition we have recently launched a mobile working module whereby staff have access to patient records when working in the community. The main benefit of this module is that it eradicates any internet connectivity issues, allowing staff to see and type up notes without the need to be online. Once the system has reconnected the information will be automatically updated.”

The three hospitals already using electronic patient records are Queen Victoria Memorial and Danesbury Neurological Unit in Welwyn and Langley House in Watford.

Those still to be trained include:

  • Holywell Ward, Langley House, Watford
  • Potters Bar Community Hospital
  • Langton and Sopwell Wards in St Albans City Hospital
  • St Peter’s Ward, Hemel Hempstead
  • Herts and Essex Community Hospital.

Jocelyn Tharby, Sister on the Midway Unit at Langley House, Watford, said: “We can now spend less time on paper work and more time with the patient.

“I am learning each day with this new system but it is great to have patient details all in one place it makes things much easier.”

Phil Wheatley, Physiotherapist on the Midway Unit at Langley House, Watford, said: “A community hospital will not be the first time the patient has had contact with the health service. Patients may come to us via their GP or community nurse.

“Providing they too are using SystmOne we don’t have to chase up different people for information as it is all available at the click of a button. It is definitely the way forward.”

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