Gloucestershire hospitals accelerates deployment of electronic patient record as part of paperless journey
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with the Allscripts Sunrise electronic patient record solution just five months after signing a contract with the company.
The trust was due to start its deployment of the EPR next summer. But it ripped up the schedule to roll out technology that should help its staff manage the high levels of demand it expects this winter.
Instead, two early-adopter wards went live with seven nursing documentation and risk assessments in November, just five months after signing the contract.
A further 22 wards went live two weeks later, supported by a 24 hour EPR support team, providing hands-on help to nursing staff on wards and co-ordinated by a dedicated command centre.
All 24 adult inpatient wards at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital are now actively using Sunrise EPR.
This go-live enables nurses to have easier, faster access to information about their patients and enables bed managers to see the status of beds across the hospital.
We are determined to push on and achieve our aim of using technology to support the kind of high-quality care that our patients deserve, and our staff aspire to deliver
Previously, they had to work their way up and down its 10-storey tower block to collect the critical patient information on paper.
Mark Hutchinson, the trust’s chief digital and information officer, said it had been able to move so quickly because it had access to a blueprint developed by Allscripts and its customers, which include some of the most-digitally-advanced trusts in the UK.
“With a busy winter ahead, we were determined to do everything that we could to support better, safer decision-making for our staff,” he said.
“We ran a very-successful pilot and then put all our energy and resources into supporting staff on 24 wards at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to go live with this system.
“Throughout the training and testing period, the response from clinicians was overwhelmingly positive, so this has been an exciting time for the organisation.
“We are determined to push on and achieve our aim of using technology to support the kind of high-quality care that our patients deserve, and our staff aspire to deliver.”
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced that it was going to deploy Sunrise Acute Care in May, with the ambition of moving from less than level 1 on the HIMSS EMRAM digital maturity model to level 6 within two years.
Ward manager, Aisling O'Hara, created a ppile of paper records over 1m high which would be replaced by the new EPR system
To do this, it has adopted a ‘clinical wrap’ strategy that will leave its third-party patient administration system in place and ‘wrap’ clinical functionality around it. The blueprint provides a guide for doing this that draws on the experience of the other trusts live with Sunrise in the UK.
The trust worked closely with its staff to make the system ‘Gloucestershire friendly’ by involving more than 300 clinicians, from healthcare assistants to consultants, in its development, documentation and testing.
Now live, more than 1,500 nursing staff are actively using EPR as part of the first rollout, with phase two planning already underway.
The first two wards to go live with the nursing documentation and risk assessments were ward 2b, an ENT surgical ward; and ward 7a, a renal general medicine ward.
On launch day, Aisling O’Hara, ward manager of 2b, removed all the paper forms that Sunrise would replace from the ward, creating a pile that was well over a metre high.
“As a nursing team, Sunrise will make a huge difference to the way we manage the care we provide, which is why we were keen to be part of the first rollout” she said.
“We are already seeing the benefits; in the first two weeks of using EPR, falls on our ward have reduced from two per week, to zero.”
The success of the first rollout means that implementation of EPR in Cheltenham General Hospital is being brought forward to February, delivering the same seven nursing documents and risk assessments.
With a busy winter ahead, we were determined to do everything that we could to support better, safer decision-making for our staff
Alongside this, the trust is prioritising order communications for radiology and pathology and e-prescribing.
A further factor in the trust’s decision to go with Allscripts was its open architecture and the ease with which Sunrise can interoperate with other systems.
This factor will eventually provide its hospitals with the capability to feed information into Gloucestershire’s ‘Joining Up Your Information’ portal, which enables staff working in different care settings to access information about their patients, with their consent.
Richard Strong, vice president and managing director of Allscripts, said: “When Gloucestershire Hospitals said it wanted to bring forward its first Sunrise go live in order to address winter pressures, we were very happy to help.
“The fact that it has been able to go live in such a short period of time is a tribute to the hard work of everybody involved at the trust and to the Allscripts UK deployment team.
“It is also a testament to the scalability of the clinical wrap strategy, when supported by our UK content blueprint.
“We look forward to working with the trust on further deployments and on helping it to achieve its stated ambition to join the select band of HIMSS 6 trusts in the UK.”