Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, with services focused on citizens across a large area of Yorkshire, has gone live with DXC Lorenzo Electronic Prescribing and Medication Management (ePMA), a new digital approach to prescribing and administering medicines for NHS mental health professionals.
Trust staff at more than 70 sites throughout Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire can now securely access a patient’s medication information electronically and issue prescriptions from anywhere. The trust has become the first of its kind in the country to go live with the DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) ePMA component of the Lorenzo electronic patient record system.
The accessibility to ePMA has already resulted in patient safety benefits, and a significant amount of time is being saved by busy hospital staff in both prescribing and administering medications.
Dr John Byrne, executive medical director at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an important step for patient safety and for us as an organisation. Doctors can now log in and prescribe immediately at any time of the day or night, without the need to travel for up to an hour between our sites. Nurses administering medicines have much easier access to information, allowing them to see at a glance which patients are due their medication, and to more easily and more safely manage medicines for patients with mental ill health.”
The system has been implemented to meet the specific needs of mental health services at the multi-speciality health and social care provider. For example, in the case of controlled medicines, the system now automatically requires users of appropriate authority to enter a passcode, to demonstrate that medicine administration has been appropriately witnessed.
“The entire medicine administration process is now much more simplified and quicker. Not only does the on-call doctor no longer need to come to the ward to prescribe, discontinue or amend a medication, but nurses have also told us that they are already saving time,” said Julie Crockett, clinical systems operations manager at the trust. “Instead of deciphering handwriting, they can quickly view in Lorenzo to see if a patient has any medications which are due or that they might have received or refused. In difficult situations where mental health patients might be anxious, nurses can now focus their attention on the patient, rather than searching through records.”
Dr Kwame Fofie, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director at the Trust, who was one of the first users of the system, said he was very impressed with the upgrade: “I really value the advice pop-up messages about dosage, contraindications and interactions with other prescribed drugs. It’s like having a pharmacist sitting next to you,” Kwame said. “There are lots of safeguards built into the system, and it is incredibly labour saving – no more having to write out several expired medication cards late on Friday afternoon, and hopefully fewer problems due to transcribing errors. It’s also very helpful to be able to access instantly the prescription for any patient, instead of having to go down to the ward and sort through the cards.”
The trust’s off-site pharmacy partner, LloydsPharmacy, also has direct access to the system, enabling staff to access the information they need directly from community locations.
Dr Weeliat Chong, chief pharmacist at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is simplifying our approach to medication and care. Staff, whether working for the trust or our partner, are now able to work in a more joined up way, regardless of location, and all for the benefit of the patient.”
The project marks a significant step in the digital transformation at the trust, which was named Provider of the Year in the 2019 Health Service Journal Awards.
“Our ePMA deployment shows we are really extracting clinical value out of Lorenzo. Moving to a digital solution means we have reliable information available at any point of care,” said Lee Rickles, chief information officer at the trust. “ePMA is just one of the final pieces of the digital jigsaw. Our electronic patient record is being fully utilised as a vehicle for change and this latest development gives staff confidence we can continue our digital journey for the foreseeable future.”
Colin Henderson, DXC’s director of Healthcare and Life Sciences for the UK, Ireland, Israel, the Middle East and Africa (UKIIMEA), added: “It is impressive to see how the trust is applying technology to solve clinical challenges through extending its digitisation of medicines management to an external pharmacy provider. This is a powerful example of how technology can provide meaningful insights to healthcare professionals to transform care and improve safety in increasingly pressured hospital environments.”