A Manchester mobile treatment service, using the IMS Maxims electronic patient record system to deliver paper-light care, is hopeful it can extend its contract with local clinical commissioning groups.

The Greater Manchester NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service, launched in 2009 by independent provider Care UK with the goal of reducing hospital admissions, operates as a mobile service with units at seven locations in greater Manchester. It treats 1,500 patients a week.

The service accepts referrals from GPs and assigns patients to its specialist teams in areas such as urology, gynaecology and gastroenterology, as well as a range of diagnostics including MRI, CT and ultrasound.

Pat Phillips, operations manager for the service, told EHI the service’s reliance on mobile units means it does not store paper records, instead using the IMS Maxims EPR to record all relevant patient information.

“We’ve got no ability to use paper or store paper, so for everything we do we have to figure out how to do it in an electronic record environment. It’s a real challenge to try to see how we can do things differently.”

Phillips said the Maxims EPR is on all desktop computers in the mobile units, while all clinical staff have laptops which provide them remote access to the system when they are at home or in other locations.

She said the system has made it faster and easier for clinicians to order and receive test results, make clinician decisions and agree treatment plans, while dictated discharge letters are delivered electronically to administration and medical secretaries.

It has also ensured that clinicians who do not work full-time for the service and have other jobs in the NHS can remotely access all the patient information they need.

“We have some doctors who work only four hours a week and are highly specialised, but they can add people onto operation lists and check their results remotely by dialling into IMS using their laptop.”

Clinicians are able to use their home Wi-Fi connection to access the system, provided it has been scrutinised to address security concerns.

Phillips said all clinicians use the same assessment and discharge template as part of a “totally integrated approach to assessing patients”, with the template specifically designed for the service.

The Maxims EPR has also made it easier for the service to check analytics, such as the number of do not attends, and see the figures by location and specialty.

Philips said the service’s work covers 12 different CCG areas. While the service’s contract is set to run out next year, she said discussions with the CCGs are underway with the hope of reaching a new agreement.