Adastra Software has won a tender to supply its unscheduled care case management software to NHS Grampian, and to provide 12 in-car mobile data terminals.

The terminals will run the remote module, Aremote, enabling clinicians to send and receive secure patient information wherever they might be.

The contract aims to drive efficiency and reduce data errors by allowing essential demographic and clinical information to be accessed and recorded at each step in the patient journey.

A spokesperson from NHS Grampian told E-Health Insider: “The current system is paper-based, with GPs, for example, having to hand-write and fax their diagnoses, and traffic controllers faxing out requests to a mobile unit or community hospital. So the new system will make that a practical, paperless process.”

NHS Grampian added that the new terminals would help clinicians access and add to clinical notes without needing to call administrative staff to fax over documents, as the system would have all the details loaded onto them.

“Each car will have a monitor and keyboard and, as well as providing a quick, secure and legible system for reading and writing medical notes, will also be used to log the duration of consultations and their nature. This and other data will be much more easy to analyse than the paper-based system, for example, to help NHS Grampian assess how resources are used, and if there are any geographical patterns of illness.”

Adastra’s head of marketing, Simon Wren, said: “Aremote will enable case details to be delegated from the managing centre to mobile clinicians using in-car computers. One of the beauties of Aremote is that details are automatically self-acknowledged and stored on the local Aremote database.”

Staff will know immediately which cases have been sent successfully, and if the vehicle moves out of coverage the patient’s demographic and clinical information is still available to the mobile clinician.

Wren added: “Complete case information is securely transmitted, including any previously recorded clinical advice and NHS 24 triage details, along with any recent patient history.”

Wren said the flexibility of the Adastra system would enable the Trust to configure it to support each clinician’s own way of working.

“Aremote will help ensure that clinicians arrive at the patient’s location armed with the correct demographic and clinical information without the need to write it down, avoiding potential mistakes and increasing efficiency. Since the consultation details are sent back to the main base once they are entered in the vehicle they are quickly available anywhere within the Adastra system.”

He says Grampian’s out-of-hours service, G-Med, which provides services to a population of 538,000 across the Grampian region would be quicker and more efficient as a result of their use of Adastra and Aremote.

Lynn Woods, Adastra’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to have won this tender in the face of strong competition and look forward to working closely with NHS 24, NHS Grampian and G-Med to help deliver high quality care people to the people of the Grampian region.”

Adastra systems are already used by more than 95% of UK unscheduled care services, including eight in Scotland, and the next generation of Aremote is already being developed.

Christine McClusky, project manager for NHS Grampian, said: “Adastra clearly demonstrated their potential to deliver a product that is fit for purpose in addressing the needs of modern and progressive unscheduled care services, and we look forward to working with them to meet our requirements to support the out-of-hours clinical service in Grampian.”

Eight new PCs are being installed at G-Med primary care emergency centres around NHS Grampian, which will replace the fax machines.

The Adastra software is planned to start in early December and there will be a rolling programme to install the in-car equipment to NHS Grampian’s 12 specialist vehicles.