The Wirral Health Informatics Service (WHIS) has extended the capability of its pilot electronic health record (EHR) system by installing a forms creation toolkit from i-Health.

According to New Zealand-based health IT vendor i-Health, the new toolkit will enable WHIS to provide a Wirral-wide solution for referrals, orders and messaging, for all its  "customers" in the Wirral Health natural economy.  Organisations set to benefit include: Wirral Hospital Trust, Primary Care Organisations, community services, GPs and the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology.

The Forms Toolkit module forms part of i-Health’s Community View EHR solution, which is currently being rolled out to GP practices, hospital sites and community health services across the Wirral health community.  Wirral was one of the leading EHR sites in the NHS Information Authority’s Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme (ERDIP).

The toolkit can also be used to create clinical assessments, notes, operation reports, and patient letters. The application ensures clinical information is available for use in ongoing research and analyses, and assists with the collection and collation of statistical data.

Angela Kennedy, project manager for the EHR solution, said the Forms Toolkit will allow health practitioners to implement structured data entry forms in association with the patient record.  “Once a form has been created the information can be tied into the patient’s existing record and the form itself can be routed to other healthcare service delivery areas within the region.”

Kennedy added: “We expect the delivery of patient care to benefit from improved reliability and timeliness – this type of tool can significantly reduce the time taken for critical information to be communicated and acted upon.”  

Initially the Forms Toolkit will be used to create Macmillan Nurse and Heart Support referrals and referrals to the newly created Intermediate Care service – starting with musculo-skeletal services.

Wirral has been running the Community View solution supplied by i-Health for over a year and is providing growing numbers of general practices in a variety of settings with detailed access to patient records and transactions – such as laboratory and radiology results – at the point of care. The EHR is being rolled out to all 63 practices based on the Wirral, allowing GPs to access both secondary and tertiary care information.

Wirral is also implementing i-Health’s clinical messaging functionality and subscription service, providing clinicians with a secure means of communication with other health professionals. The subscriptions functionality allows GPs to register to receive automatic updates about crucial patient event data – such as Emergency Department visits or Outpatient Appointments – as soon as it becomes available.