Two mental health wards run by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) have gone live with an electronic prescribing and medicines administration (EPMA) system from TPP.

Redwood Ward and Kershaw Ward at St. Charles Hospital in West London were selected as the first pilot sites to roll out the SystmOne EPMA solution in July.

By switching to paperless, prescribing information at the wards is now more accessible to all clinical staff that require it.

This means nurses no longer have to call the pharmacy searching for charts or ask doctors whether they can take charts for medicines rounds.

Furthermore, large screens have been installed on drug carts, in the nurses’ offices and in rooms where ward rounds are conducted which means staff can access information when and where they need it.

Doctors have also saved half an hour a day that was previously spent rewriting drug charts to ensure consistency and accuracy, meaning they have more time to focus on patient care.

Tf Chan, chief pharmacist at CNWL and project sponsor for the roll out of SystmOne EPMA, said: “Introducing an EPMA system is always challenging but even more so during a pandemic.

“Despite current obstacles, SystmOne’s ease of use and intuitiveness has made the changeover much easier for staff. For example, medication charts in EPMA being set out like the paper drug charts staff are familiar with has helped teams quickly get started with using the system.”

As well as bringing benefits to patients and clinical staff, the solution also helps with standardising documentation. Staff can see exactly who prescribed or administered medication so can easily contact the right person if they have any queries.

In the case of patients refusing medication, staff previously had no consistent method for documenting this but can now document these events at the touch of a button. This all contributes to a reduction in error plus better auditing and monitoring of care.

Error is further reduced with the ability of staff to set medication review dates in the system. They can enter a date for review and count on the system to send a reminder, ensuring patients receive responsibly managed medication that is regularly reviewed.

After the successful rollout of SystmOne EPMA at their first two clinical sites, the team at CNWL are planning on managing six go lives a month from the early September and should have all 52 of their mental health sites live with EPMA by April 2022. The trust will use any learnings from the go lives at the pilot sites to support future rollouts.

Tom Hardy, lead clinical systems analyst at TPP, added: “TPP is pleased to see SystmOne EPMA already beginning to assist staff at CNWL with their work and look forward to continuing to support them going forward in their roll out.

“EPMA will ensure that staff and patients in the area will benefit from comprehensive, well-managed and fully digitised medicines and prescription management.”

As well as providing an EPMA solution, TPP also provides an electronic health record solution and earlier this year Digital Health News reported on three NHS mental health trusts deploying the technology.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), Leicester Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) and Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) all rolled out SystmOne Mental Health in the second half of 2020.