Work to go paper-free gets national recognition

The trust has been recognised as a top performer nationally for its work around electronic patient records and moving towards paper-free working.

The trust has moved up more than 100 places in national rankings, known as the Clinical Digital Maturity Index (CDMI).

Over the last four years, the trust has been leading a number of major projects to improve the way it uses technology in patient care.

Dr Graham Evans, the trust’s chief information and technology officer, said: “This is an excellent achievement.

“The NHS must keep modernising its services to ensure it is giving the very best care to our patients, reducing bureaucracy, improving patient safety and being more efficient.

“There have been a number of initiatives we have been running to make sure we are a leader in digital performance.

“It’s a sign of the hard work and dedication of all staff that we have been able to deliver some very ambitious and challenging new projects.”

The trust has been running a major project to move all patient records into an electronic format and go paper free by 2020.

The latest phase, electronic prescribing and medicine administration (EPMA), will replace the paper based process and is already being rolled out across the elderly care wards at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Another initiative has been for staff to be able to work wirelessly in clinical areas.

Dr Evans added: “The trust has been in the vanguard of mobile working for many years and was one of the trusts to introduce wireless mobile working as far back as 10 years ago.

“This journey has taken us from initially using computers on wheels, then laptops on wheels to the point we are at now where we are about to start workstations on wheels.

“Each step on this journey has been about improving reliability, access, speed of response and affordability.

“We have also used other complimentary mobile working technologies including, bedside terminals, tablets and smart phones along with desktop computers and laptops.”

What our staff said:

“Staff on ward 42 have been very impressed with the new prescribing system. The transition from paper to electronic prescribing was seamless, helped by a large number of both medical and non-medical volunteers who gave up their time on the day of changeover, as well as the reassuring presence of the Digital Programme team leading on the implementation. We have found the system easy and convenient to use, and can see how this will lead to improvements in prescribing practice, with consequent benefits for patient treatment and safety. No longer do we have to worry about lost drug charts or illegible handwriting.”
Dr Steve Yeomans, Consultant Physician/Geriatrician

“The workstations on wheels have reduced the time of the medication rounds alongside EPMA. They mean less medication is carried, resulting in a more organised drugs trolley and reduced waste. They provide a mobile work station for nurses, ensuring the nurse can remain close to the patient, whilst completing notes. They have been the most successful device for internet connection whilst completing drug rounds. They maintain the safety of drugs without the need to carry keys, due to the key pad lock.”
Claire Ranson, Senior Clinical Matron

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