A consortium of trusts and healthcare organisations in the South has chosen NoemaLife as its preferred supplier for an e-prescribing system, with a focus on creating a single medicines record.
The collaboration of organisations in South Devon is led by South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and also covers mental health and community services, a GP out-of-hours service, the local ambulance trust, and the local clinical commissioning group.
At the moment, each of them has its own record of medications prescribed and administered, and the information can only be shared by patients telling clinicians what medication they are taking, or if clinicians request a medication history by phone, fax or post.
Once the new system is implemented, everybody involved in prescribing, administering, dispensing and controlling medicines in South Devon will have access to NoemaLife’s Galileo Medication system. This will mean that they will have simultaneous, real-time access to the same drug charts.
Prescribers will also be notified automatically of patient allergies or drug incompatibility. Paul Foster, the clinical director of pharmacy at the acute trust, said the introduction of the new system would be a “great opportunity to improve patient safety, particularly when patients are transferred between healthcare settings.”
Andrew Gunatilleke, consultant anaesthetist and lead clinician for the consortium, added that it should also deliver significant improvements in efficiency.
“Any delay in getting the right medication at the right time may result in a higher risk of hospitalisation,” he said. “Through Galileo Medication, patient records can be viewed in real time, facilitating faster medication changes and ensuring patients get the best possible care in the shortest time.”
The consortium is also hoping to see direct cost savings, for example by cutting out the cost of printing off drug charts, scanning and faxing them, or physically moving them between sites. Physical storage costs will also be reduced once records are digitised.
The South Devon consortium is made up of the acute trust, Torbay and South Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, Devon Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Devon Doctors Limited, and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
It has moved fast on the tender, which was only issued in March. At the time, it said it was looking to award a ten year contract, with an option to exit after five years, with a value of between £2.5 million and £4 million.
Despite this, the consortium says it ran an extensive evaluation of systems before picking NoemaLife, taking into account factors such as integration with existing systems and ease of use.
Gunatilleke said: “A group of junior doctors and nurses tested each EPMA, and NoemaLife stood out as their preferred system. Not only were teams able to use Galileo Medication quickly, but they were soon thinking about how it could be incorporated into their everyday work.”
Implementation will start at Torbay Hospital in September. A group of ‘super users’ will be recruited to help roll-out the new system across the region.