10th June 2015, London - Fortrus announces today that their customer South Essex Partnership University NHS Trust have successfully implemented e-forms as part of its Integrated Digital Care Record and all ward monitoring is now done through electronic forms.
SEPT work with a wide range of partner organisations to deliver care and support to people in their own homes and from a number of hospital and community based premises. They have many modern community based resource centres and clinics to provide local services to local people where possible.
The challenge for Fortrus was to combine different data streams into one comprehensive record system for SEPT that included digitised paper files, enabling information to be joined up throughout the Trust, including multiple systems and users. With live patient records updated all the time, SEPT needed a solution that would be accessible 24/7 and up and running as soon as possible.
At SEPT we drew on our wealth of experience within the health sector to rapidly adapt UNITY to this new clinical data environment. We are now moving forward to execute a complete, integrated digital care record for SEPT well ahead of the Government deadlines.
At Fortrus we focus on delivering a trust’s business case and the challenges that can bring, but we also focus on delivering innovation to the user experience through direct engagement with clinicians.
We have and continue to work in partnership with SEPT throughout their digitisation journey at all levels to address these things. To date the project has been a huge success, whilst also receiving various awards in recognition of those achievements.
A selection of which are outlined below:
- Tens of millions of patient documents have been digitised
- A patient demographic staging database has been delivered, that records critical patient information
- The project is on time and budget for March 2016 and electronic/structured data forms are now also live
- To date Unity has been rolled out across 53 teams and wards throughout the Trust, all adult and older people services are now completed and all core units are live
- Over 150 electronic forms (e-forms) have been built and deployed along with complex associated workflows, which included redesigning and developing all paper work as electronic forms and training all appropriate staff.
- All ward monitoring is now done through electronic forms and has been live since December 2014.
- The Forensic Department has recently given the ‘Go ahead' for all scanned paper files to be destroyed
- With the introduction of signature pads data can now be captured at the point of care with the ability to save and sign forms electronically (sometimes up to 4 times a day)
- In Secure Services alone (8 wards), between January 2014 and April 2015; over 134,500 forms were input and saved directly into Unity
- e-forms usage has also been monitored between a 2 and 8 month period within Inpatient Services (10 wards or units) and over 103,000 eForms were input and saved directly into Unity within those timeframes.
- In the month of March 2015 alone, there were over 29,500 patient searches using the Unity solution, over 10,000 paper documents were scanned into the system and over 34,000 e-forms were input and saved directly into Unity.
- The Unity solution from Fortrus has also been extended to non-clinical departments such as Operations and Human Resources
In conclusion, there are a number of lessons to be learnt from removing the physical hard copy and working without case notes and these will continue to be learnt. There is a temptation to try and replicate historic ways of working and recording care, whilst in some situations it is entirely appropriate, it is by no means the case that moving towards an electronic environment is without the pain of change.
However, the real lessons to be learnt is that clinical engagement is absolutely key, the software is of course extremely important, but the user interface and user experience is vital.
It’s absolutely crucial that clinicians are involved in the change process and also involved at all levels of the deployment, right back as far as the design and configuration to ensure a successful project.
The Trust has had a hand in designing the solution so that it reflects their needs and if it reflects their needs, then it almost certainly reflects the needs of the clinicians in other organisations within the NHS.
Dr Llewellyn Lewis, Deputy Medical Director for Essex commented on the implementation of Unity:
“Through bringing together all of our records from every service involved in our patient’s journey we’re not expecting our patient to tell their story over and over each time they have contact with a new service or team and we’re making it easier for the Trust staff to find information about what care they have had in the past, where and by whom at the touch of a button [using the Fortrus ‘Unity’ solution].
“I have found the implementation of EPR [the Fortrus ‘Unity’ solution] invaluable in allowing me to provide rapid access to patients who may be experiencing early warning signs of relapse, as I can reference their notes immediately without needing to wait for paper copies from medical records. It has allowed the Maintaining Adherence Programme team to develop a very responsive service which has been very well received by patients. I can also see what other teams are doing with patients, improving communication between multiple teams and reducing risks of lost information. Recently additional functionality has been piloted in MAP: I am able to input my clinical notes by typing directly into continuation sheets. This has meant I don’t have to send my paper notes off for scanning. The form pre-populates patient name and NHS number and as it is filed directly into the medical tab, my notes are immediately available to the rest of the team as soon as I have seen the patient.”
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Unity emerged from research conducted with over 800 senior clinicians across multiple organisations. The findings of this research identified three key challenges when working in an data-intensive environment.
- 1) Fragmented computer systems and databases
- 2) Delays in gaining access to critical information.
- 3) Increasing pressures to find efficiencies.
Unity solves these problems by acting as a control layer, that whilst able to draw from multiple complex databases, means that we can develop flexible and bespoke user interfaces for minimal cost. The result is a software solution that suites the specific data-intensive needs of your organisation.