Four NHS trusts have started trialling the use of patient bedside terminals to access clinical systems.
Mid Essex Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals, Southampton University Hospitals and Heart of England NHS foundation trusts have all begun using the Clinical Access service from Hospedia on terminals from JAOtech.
The company’s commercial and media director, Ben Packman, said the idea of using bedside terminals to access clinical systems first emerged about 12 years ago; when the then-Labour government mandated their roll-out to improve patient access to telephones and TV.
“But it never really took off, and the National Programme for IT rode over the top of it really,” Packman said. He argued that now the programme has “found its place” trusts are “becoming aware of the benefits of having that access at the bedside.”
Hospedia and JAOtech have been working in collaboration to renew contracts at 152 hospitals that became customers when Hospedia took over one of the big winners of the initial contracts, PatientLine, in 2008.
Packman told eHealth Insider that it has installed more than 6,500 new JAOtech terminals in 14 UK hospitals. The companies hope to have installed up to 20,000 by the end of April 2012.
The clinical access pilot is part of the wide-scale renewal of legacy bedside systems. “I’d be lying if I was to say there was a trust that was using this [clinical access] day in and day out - they are more focussed on specific wards,” Packman said.
However, he added: “Access to PACS and electronic prescribing is where they are really starting to see the benefits for them.”
He said trusts could decide what systems to access from the patient’s bedside, but Hospedia could provide a portal view of any system, such as an entire electronic patient record.
“It’s all possible, but no one’s really taken that leap yet,” he said. “I think it’s an issue of getting all of their ducks in a row; to be able to give access to system you have to have those systems all operating properly behind that.”
© 2011 EHealth Media.