Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust has become the first paediatric hospital in the UK to complete a roll-out of an Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration system from JAC.
The trust signed a contract with the medicines management software specialist in December 2004 and went live on the nephrology (kidney) ward almost a year later. The system is now live in all in-patient wards except intensive care.
The key aim of the implementation has been to improve patient safety by reducing the errors associated with using paper systems.
Christine Booth, senior pharmacist at Great Ormond Street, said: “The paper-based prescribing process has many points of weakness, which an electronic medication record can instantly address, such as illegible handwriting or missing patient/drug information, both of which can have serious consequences.
“Implementation of JAC’s EPMA system has already shown to deliver early benefits in medication safety. However, there is scope for future benefits as the software develops to support complex prescribing and administration.”
The system also incorporates First DataBank Europe’s Multilex Drug Data File, which provides clinical users with patient-specific clinical decision support to actively check for drug-drug interactions, duplicate therapies and drug allergies.
The trust intends to extend the roll-out of the system to intensive care as part of the next phase of contractual deliverables and develop dose-checking functionality.
Dr Stephen Marks, medical lead for the project, said: “Before we started using EPMA, it was common place for nurses to call colleagues after their shift to double check if elements of a complex medication schedule had been administered to a patient. This problem has been completely resolved by the introduction of EPMA.
“Since migrating to electronic prescribing and medicines administration, clinical staff have become empowered and are now able to view legible patient records, with no confusion or misinterpretation.”
JAC confirmed that they have had a number of enquires from both dedicated children’s hospitals and acute hospital trust with paedatric requirements.
Robert Tysall-Blay, chief executive of JAC, said: “This is a major milestone in the collaboration between JAC and Great Ormond Street.
“The prescribing and administration of medicines for children is often complex and the effort, involvement and lessons learnt from developing and implementing software to replace manual systems should not go unrecognised.”