University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust has integrated its ePMA (Electronic Prescribing Medicines Administration) and its pharmacy stock control system.

Working with the trust’s EPR supplier, Dedalus, the move has created the first NHS closed loop medication supply using FHIR interoperability standards. It is a major integration milestone for CareSuite, the trust’s EPR (electronic patient record) and has resulted in benefits for both clinicians and patients.

The closed loop medication supply process makes it quicker for doctors to electronically prescribe a medication and for pharmacists to process the prescriptions. For patients it significantly reduces the risk of any errors in the prescribing process.

Debbie Loke, interim director of IT/CIO at the trust, said: “Being able to support our clinical teams with these developments is not only rewarding for those using the system but ultimately provides a better service for our patients, getting them quicker access to their drugs in order that they can return to their homes and families.

“This is a great example of partnership working with system suppliers and clinical teams that improves care.”

With the new system, once a clinician has prescribed a medication it is automatically routed to the pharmacist where it is checked, before being passed to the trust’s dispensing system for issue. Pharmacy teams no longer have to use a lengthy transcribing process to manually enter data into the electronic stock control system from printed or handwritten paper prescriptions which minimises any errors.

Dispending speed is also increased. Pharmacy teams are provided with a safe and refined list of options for each request. Once the prescription is double checked it’s then labelled for the specific patient and sent to the ward promptly.

Colin Henderson, regional general manager at Dedalus Group for the UK & Ireland, added: “We are proud to be working with Derby and Burton to enhance patient safety through its EPR and provide a seamless, digital solution starting from prescribing through to medication dispensing.

“Digitising the process through the EPR provides the Trust with the ability to dispense faster which is particularly beneficial when hospitals are under significant pressure.”

Dedalus is the first EPR system vendor in the UK to use the NHS strategic FHIR interoperability standards to deliver this in a live setting. Across the UK and Ireland Dedalus has over 315 products in use in the NHS, Ireland’s HSE and in private providers. Back in July it was chosen by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for its ePMA contract.