Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust has developed a new electronic patient record system with assistance from software developers, Graphnet Health, and booking specialists, Ultragenda.
The new system collects and shares information across the local health community and works alongside the trusts’ existing iSoft Patient Administration System.
Trafford’s head of IM&T, John Bain, told E-Health Insider: “We have been working with Graphnet for some time now in creating a system that would integrate records into one single patient file. We were already well into working on the Information for Health level 3 (clinical activity support – electronic clinical orders, results reporting, prescribing, multi-professional care pathways) and so continued to work on a system that would let us share common patient records across the trust.
“We have spent the last couple of years ensuring the system does what we need it to, in terms of integrating our existing systems and creating a single master patient index. This has included some careful data cleansing to ensure that data is up to date and correct.”
Bain said that the system suited the needs of the trust and supported the National Programme for IT’s ethos to connect up all patient information across NHS organisations.
“We spent almost three years making the system available to all trust staff members and have now managed to interconnect all the systems. Staff can use it to sort outpatients off the patient administration system or to schedule appointments using choose and book, thanks to software from Ultragenda.”
The new system will allow GPs to take information and electronically feed it to other systems in the trust domain. GPs control what patient information can be collected, which currently excludes sensitive information about sexual or mental health. Patients can opt-out of the system if they want to.
Similar systems are already in use in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and user studies at Poole have showed that electronic patient records can save time.
Bain added: “GPs are now enthused with this new system. They are now sitting on the edge of innovation in being able to share information across both primary care and secondary care. The system has been helped by the deployment of choose and book, which is allowing us to offer patients a choice.
“We are beginning to see something with live information across one patient record over several systems. Nightly downloads ensure that a patient’s record is kept up to date with basic information on prescriptions, diagnosis and allergies and staff can gain access to that data with the right permission access.”
Access to the system is password protected and data access rights are determined by the user’s level of authority.
It means that, at the touch of a button, hospital doctors could have all of a patient’s relevant health information accessible on a single record, which will help with making a speedy, accurate diagnosis and providing the patient with the most appropriate treatment.
The trusts’ medical director, Dr Simon Musgrave, said: “As hospital doctors, it is our responsibility to diagnose and treat patients quickly and appropriately. Having this system in place gives us an amazing amount of vital details about individuals which helps us do a better job.”
GP Dr Tony Kaye, added: “From a GP perspective we now have the facility to access the hospital IT system at any time to find up to date clinical information about patients registered at our practice. We are using the system on a regular daily basis – it means we have test results available to us which have been requested at the hospital.
“We can therefore pass this information to patients, or act on it more quickly. We can also see hospital letters sometimes before we have received them through the normal channels, which can be very helpful. In addition we can also access information when our patients are in-patients on the wards, and monitor their progress.”