Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is to use Emis Web to integrate its community care throughout Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Emis Web was chosen because it could integrate with other clinical systems. In 2012, the trust merged with community health services from NHS Blackpool and NHS North Lancashire and there was a need to standardise on a single system that could also interoperate with all the GP systems.

Philip Graham, head of ICT at the trust, told EHI:  “We had community nurses who had 23 log-ons to 23 different GP systems to update the community information into all those systems.”

The trust also wanted to adopt standardised clinical processes, added Graham: “We've got teams that are acting differently, depending on what system they use.”

Most of the GP practices were already using Emis, said Graham, making interoperability easier. The new system will be used by 1,200 clinicians, including GPs, health visitors and emergency rapid response and mental health teams.

There are also plans to integrate Emis Web with maternity services and child health services to reduce cumbersome paper processes.

The trust is piloting the new eRedbook project, an electronic version of the red book currently given to new mothers to record health information about their child, such as weight and vaccination dates.

This will be integrated with Emis Web, so that when health visitors enter data into the care record about, for example, vaccination, that will flow back into the electronic red book.

Of the three clinical commissioning groups brought under the trust umbrella – Blackpool, North Lancashire and Fylde and Wire – only the Blackpool community nurses were already using mobile devices.

When Emis Web goes live in April 2015, all the community nurses will be using the Emis mobile app on Android devices supplied by Vodafone.

The nurses will be able to use their mobile device to see their appointments for the day and then use them while they’re with patients to access GP records or acute information through the trust’s clinical portal. The devices also have satellite navigation, making it easier for nurses to plan their routes.

“We're trying to get the information where the clinicians need it, so it's not in 23 different GP systems. The benefits should fall out of the back of streamlining those processes so that people aren't travelling backwards and forwards to base, and they're not chasing paper around,” said Graham.