The innovative Trust using technology to deliver better care for its patients

A Northern Trust has successfully implemented an electronic patient record management system which means records can be accessible at the touch of a button digitally by appropriate personnel.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are using TrakCare supplied by InterSystems to quickly access patient records, embracing its ‘digital first’ ethos to keep patient information safer than ever.

The Teesside Trust is not only the first NHS Acute Trust in England to implement TrakCare, but is also an accredited Fast Follower within the NHS Global Digital Exemplar programme. It takes a Trust-wide approach to innovation, empowering staff to be forward thinkers to improve outcomes for patients.

Adapting a ‘work with the willing’ (www) approach, the Trusts digital systems team were able to get early adaptors on board with the new system, demonstrating to others just how beneficial electronic patient records are. Taking a phased approach, the team started with getting the basics right before exploring new innovations that the system might be able to support.

From there, the system has been further developed to include pilots such as a fluid balance chart, allowing for previously paper based tests to be stored and accessed digitally, with easier comparison to previous/historic readings. Other benefits include instant allergy information, access to earlier discharge notes, appointment letters and a full, clear medical history for each patient.

Electronic patient record systems are used to provide healthcare staff with critical information about patients and their medical history. The new system stores information electronically so that it is available to appropriate health care staff whenever and wherever they need it. It will store a full record for patients attending hospital from referral or unscheduled admission through their inpatient and outpatient care and eventual discharge and allow the information to be shared securely across the staff providing patient care and with GPs, which will improve communication.

Consultant Physician in Medicine, Dr Jayesh Vasani explains that ‘the more information available for a patient, the better decisions that can be made for that individual resulting in the best level of care possible.’

This was supported by Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Deepak Dwarakanath who reflects on the benefits of the new system ‘Everything we do clinically is now underpinned by TrakCare. We share patient information with one another via the live system – that means that there’s never a delay with the uploading of notes. This system ensures that patient information follows the patient on their journey throughout our hospital, not just from ward to ward but from site to site too. We are continuously transforming the care that we provide to our patients, I’s absolutely crucial that we have a system to support this.’

But what does this mean for the future ambitions of the Trust? Chief Information and Technology Officer for the Trust, Dr Graham Evans highlights ‘It’s all about creating the foundations for an Integrated Healthcare System. The way we deliver care is changing at a national level, with neighbouring health and social care providers expected to work closer than ever before. Implementing a system that all clinical professionals can access is the obvious solution. As we work towards creating Centres of Excellence, patients might not go to their local hospital for treatment every time. It’s is important that we all move towards using a universal patient management service, and I’m delighted that we’ve taken a step towards that here at our Trust.’

You can view the video on North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1meIhVqKcc

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