Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has successfully integrated the Better Meds ePMA (electronic prescribing and medication administration) solution into SIDeR – the Somerset Integrated Digital e-Record system to help enhance continuity, safety and overall experiences for patients.

SIDeR was launched in 2019. The integration of the two solutions implements national medication Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) profiles and combines them with workflows and visualisations designed by Better. The solution is underpinned by the Better Meds product and open standards platform.

The trust will be able to automatically populate hospital records with medication information from GP and other care provider records. Visualisations of the interaction and transaction data between different care settings will enable clinicians to easily interpret a patient’s medication history over time. In addition, secondary care clinicians can create active electronic prescriptions with only minimal transcription between information sources improving efficiency and accuracy.

The system is currently undergoing live clinical validation across admission areas.

David Chalkley, clinical safety officer, associate CCIO and associate director of pharmacy at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The shared medication data from care providers across the region will give patients more continuity of care. When a patient moves between hospitals, for example, the clinician does not need to restart their medication prescriptions, and the medications they had previously prescribed can be transferred over. In addition to enhancing patient safety, it will result in shorter prescription times and more time spent on patient care.”

The integration of the Better Meds ePMA and SIDeR comes after the launch of a Better Meds pilot within maternity services at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in September. In April this year, Yeovil and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust merged. The two hospitals now enjoy greater data connectivity with the solution implemented across the different EPR and PAS solutions across multiple care settings.

Donna Kelly, senior vice president for CGI in the South and Midlands, said: “This integrated solution across the region, ensuring that medication data can be shared across involved health and care providers, will provide an enhanced patient and carer experience.”

The programme was supported by CGI, a global IT and business consulting services firm, which worked to configure and implement the solution from its inception. It also provided the foundations to expand the integration from within the trust to care providers across the wider region.

Before the integration is rolled out across all acute, community health and mental health services within the trust, there will be further iterative improvements that will be made. The solution will be expanded to the remaining wards at Musgrove Park Hospital by early 2024, and integration with the trust’s pharmacy stock control system and the national Electronic Prescription Service is expected to be complete by the end of this year.