Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust has gone live with a new child health system supplied by McKesson that will provide detailed electronic health record for children.

McKesson’s web-based CarePlus solution went live at the trust at the end of 2004.  It replaces the old ‘green-screen’ Swift child health system also supplied by McKesson.

The new online system will support Northampton’s Child Health programme by scheduling vaccinations and immunisations, pre-school and school health and special needs appointments.

According to McKesson, CarePlus gives a full overview of current status allowing improved clinical decision making, and also provides staff with a configurable set of rules which they can use to define their own schedules.

Joanne Webster, team co-ordinator for Northampton Child Services explained to E-Health Insider why the trust had selected and implemented CarePlus: “We needed to update to a Windows-based system from the old green screen system.  The old system had no scope to evolve."

She said a key reason for upgrading was because the trust needed a system that could adapt to changes in service delivery and be expanded in the future to integrate into new developments such as the NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS). “We needed a system that can handle changes in the way we work, a system that can grow with us."  

Webster told EHI that benefits of the new system included being much easier to navigate and use, as well as greatly improved data links to other systems in use at the hospital.

Child Services, part of the Child Health Directorate at Northampton General Hospital co-ordinates the journey of the child throughout milestones in its life.  These range from immunisations, vaccinations and development checks, updating records for schools, adoption and special medicals and special protocols for when a child is placed on the Child Protection Register.

The new system will create a record for each child born at the trust and create a record that tracks them through to adulthood and beyond.  “We get 4,000 births a year and maintain the child’s details up to 26,” explained Webster.  “Patients benefit from a very comprehensive record related to the whole journey of the child and their development."   

She said that following the successful implementation of CarePlus the next phase of work would be to rationalise the amount of management information available from the system, “at the moment there are a whole raft of reports available from CarePlus."

McKesson, one of the leading providers in Child Health systems, developed CarePlus on the firm’s experience developing and supporting five legacy Child Health services. McKesson says that its child health product fully supports connectivity with National Programme for IT services such as Choose and Book.

Liz Jones, IT Coordinator at Northampton Child Services said of working with McKesson: "Their team have truly worked in partnership with the NHS and have delivered a system that works for us. Moreover they listened carefully to our needs and worked with us to convert them into reality.’