Community midwives from the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust are to begin using their EuroKing E3 maternity information system outside of the hospital in a bid to reduce the high perinatal mortality rate in the region.

The pilot will go live at the end of this month. All community midwives will be able to wirelessly access the EuroKing E3 system using new Panasonic Toughbook laptop computers.

Midwives will be able to look up existing data or create new records for each expectant mother they see outside of the hospital. They will be able to link directly into the maternity information system and results reporting.

In the Birmingham and Black Country region the perintal mortality rate is 11.5 for every 1000 babies, while the national average is 7.9. Perinatal defines the period occurring around the time of birth to seven completed days after birth.

To help bring down the perinatal mortality rate the trust decided that improved information was one of the areas it needed to address, providing a way of ensuring that all mothers are looked after and their babies are safe for at least a week after birth.

EuroKing’s managing director, Jonathan Raife, told E-Health Insider: “The trust have a problem with their reasonably high perinatal mortality rate and wanted a way to tackle this. We, together with midwives at the trust, realised that by taking the system out into the community we could help to ensure that information was collected about all expectant mothers, which could help to reduce fatalities later on.”

Remote access to the E3 maternity system will give midwives working in the community the ability to access up-to-date information, such as blood test results and information relating to the mother. For the first time the trust will be able to record their activity in the community in real time.

Raife added: “By doing this, the trust will benefit from better information, communicated direct to the hospital so they know about any potential at risk mother who has given birth outside of the hospital. It is a way of helping and improving the flow of information to make it better and easier to prevent people falling through the cracks.”

The areas due to be targeted during the project are Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green.

Each year the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust cares for women as they give birth to a total of over seven thousand babies. The Princess of Wales Women’s Unit at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital is a referral centre for the care of high risk pregnancies in the area.

Currently, E3 covers most of the maternity departments including ante-natal clinic, day assessment unit, antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal wards and the pregnancy emergency assessment area.

Raife said: “This is truly changing the face of maternity care. Staff can gain access to the maternity system from any given location over the N3 network, which really will make a huge difference.”