East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has developed an electronic pre-operative assessment record which transfers patient pathway information between teams.

The record, which includes direct patient input, enables information to be passed from clinic to pre-operative assessment to elective admissions staff in an integrated solution, which the trust believes is the first in the country.

East Lancashire plans to go-live with the system early next year. Emma Birchall, the trust’s associate director of IM&T, told EHI it was looking for a system to complement its e-casenote strategy, which encompasses the digitisation of the existing clinical casenotes.

“The next step in our e-health strategy is to minimise the amount of paper records being created,” she said, adding that, “the system will enable electronic forms to be developed exactly how clinicians wanted to see them.”

The trust has created the record system with two companies: Intouch with Health, which provides self-service kiosks, and Caradigm, which has developed a ‘one stop’ approach using a clinical intelligence platform.

The platform electronically captures information about surgical patients in the outpatient department, which is transferred to the pre-operative assessment team.

The team will use the information collected to create an electronic clinical record and an ‘offer of admission’ is created when the patient is assessed as fit for surgery.

Using touch screen kiosks in clinic, patients will be able to answer questions about their clinical history and this information is used to create a clinical summary that is sent instantly to the pre-operative consultation team.

“Because the Caradigm solution integrates with our other systems such as patient administration system and laboratories, it allows clinicians to use data already captured in other systems to populate specific clinical forms and notes,” said Birchall.

“Any additional data captured within the Caradigm solution can also be used again across our system architecture, which has allowed us to generate messages back to our PAS for patient pathway management.”

The trust hopes to reduce cancellations of surgery due to fitness issues, and the system is expected to save the trust £75,000 a year, based on income lost through cancelled operations.

“As we are introducing this into pre-operative assessment, we are expecting to see reductions in unnecessary cancellations of procedures as the system will enable workflow that will allow monitoring of the patients and their fitness for surgery throughout the elective pathway,” said Birchall.