Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire has installed an e-referrals application in a step towards a fully electronic patient records (EPR) system.
The e-referrals application went live in the cardiology department in September 2014 with future plans to expand incrementally throughout the hospital.
Papworth already had a document management system which piloted five years ago, but the addition of the electronic referrals process allows the hospital to keep a closer eye on patients whilst reducing paper and sharing patient details more easily between hospital staff.
“It’s a stepping stone towards a full-blown electronic patient records system,” says David Wilcox, Papworth’s Hospital’s business change and information management and technology project manager, “we’re supposed to be going on with that next year, and really this is partly to get our people up to speed using electronic systems.”
“We get a lot of paperwork and because of the number of things that have to happen, not just clinical, but administrative too, an elaborate paper chase was developed over the years, with documents photocopied, faxed and put in the post to various locations.”
With the electronic referrals system, the documents still reach the hospital in paper form, but are immediately scanned into electronic document management software. Consultants treating a patient can log into a web application to view a digital copy of the records and then make modifications, with treatment notes or new prescriptions, which is then accessible by other members of staff as needed.
“The document management system is also the portal to access other hospital applications, which means consultants don’t have to change systems. A single sign-on gives staff access to the various databases they need”.
In the future, Papworth is set to move to a £165m digital hospital, which plans to have no paper records on-site and this new series of electronic processes in patient treatment is a litmus test for staff when the hospital moves to a fully digitised administration system.
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