Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has rolled out its Alert electronic patient record to an additional 220 users following its successful use by more than 470 staff in its A&E department.

Blackpool was the first NHS trust to buy Alert EDIS from the Portugese company. It plans to use it to provide clinical functionality, leaving its IMS Maxims patient administration system in place.

The trust went live with the system in A&E in November last year, and since then has been using it in the department for patient triage, recording treatments and procedures, requesting and results, tracking patent status, and recording discharge, date, time and outcome.

After more than 26,000 patients passed through the system, it also recently extended access to 220 speciality doctors.

This will allow doctors in specialisms such as orthopaedics, who visit A&E to assess or treat a patient, to access the system from any point across the trust.

Helen Mainon, ALERT programme manager at the trust, said: “The doctors can use Alert EDIS as an EPR to request investigations and view results.

"This is a really key step as it means that for the first time, Alert functionality has touched the whole trust.”

Blackpool says that the system provides its clinical teams with immediate up to date information about a patient and streamlined investigation requests and access to diagnosis results.

It says it has around 50 concurrent users ranging from A&E administration to radiology staff. They have been accessing the system from 80 new hardware units installed in the emergency department.

Blackpool expects to roll out e-prescribing and medications management in the A&E department by the beginning of May, with the full deployment of order communications across the trust by the end of the year.

In addition, clinical documentation of patient assessments and treatments in the clinical decision unit and the outpatient areas of the Lancashire Cardiac Centre will be implemented over the coming months.

The trust says that it will not be deploying any of the functionality through a big bang approach as originally planned. Instead, it will layer in functionality so staff are familiar with the system.

Read a report of EHI’s recent visit to Blackpool in the Insight section.