The pharmacy and IT teams at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust have been recognised for its electronic patient discharge system.

The eDischarge system enables pharmacists and doctors to enter drug information directly into an electronic document before a patient is discharged, rather than onto a handwritten sheet.

Doctors can enter clinical information and sign off the medication with a pharmacist. Any additional notes, such as blood test results, can be filtered in at any time.

The discharge summary is then immediately reviewed in the dispensary via an electronic worklist, so that medicines can be released.

Patients are given a copy of the discharge sheet when they leave hospital. Discharge information is also made available through the Hampshire shared record initiative.

The discharge document is transferred electronically to the online system, through which all participating GPs in Hampshire can gain access to their patients’ notes. Some Hampshire GPs are able to receive the message directly into their practice system.

Southampton’s eDischarge system was devised and designed by medical staff along with principal pharmacist Mark Pepperrell and eRecords projects analyst Nilesh Patel.

The software was written and developed by Ascribe, which has a long-standing strategic partnership with the trust.

Sharron Millen, head of clinical pharmacy, said: "The development of the eDischarge system has had significant benefits to the workflow within the pharmacy service.

"The system allows easy access to identify patients for discharge and removes the need for transport of prescriptions to the individual dispensaries."

The Southampton eDischarge system won the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and UK Clinical Pharmacy Association’s information technology award for 2010.

Adrian Byrne, director of information management and technology, said: “This system provides staff within the trust, patients and their GPs with access to clear and precise information on their medications and discharge notes quickly.

“It is another major advancement in IT at the trust that is helping us to provide better services to our patients and partners in the most efficient way possible.”

The eDischarge system supports UK and WHO coding conventions, meets the Royal Academy of Medical Colleges standard for discharge summary content, and can deliver summaries to GP systems using the NHS Kettering format. It has also been adapted to capture Department of Health VTE returns.