Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has become the first in the UK to go-live with iSoft’s electronic prescribing system.
The trust agreed to partner with iSoft, a CSC company, as an ‘early adopter’ to test the electronic prescribing and medicines administration system in 2010, and began solid work on implementation in April this year.
It has now gone live in the elderly rehabilitation ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital where it is running the system as part of a ‘proof of concept’ phase, with a view to a wider roll-out.
The trust’s associate director of IM&T, Christine Walters, told eHealth Insider the go-live had gone “extremely well” and staff had responded positively to using the system.
“One of the pharmacists has said that he thinks that this is the best system he has seen on the marketplace... and the nurses love it.”
Walters said the trust had taken a cautious approach to going live: “We’ve taken our time because this is a system that, if it’s not working, can do real harm to patients. It’s not something you can just get in and do quickly.”
Pennine Acute also needed to undertake a technical refresh of its infrastructure to make sure it could handle the requirements of the system, and to undertake significant interfacing work.
“We did have some teething problems with interfacing, but we expected to have some teething problems,” Walters said. “The issues that we have come across, we have worked out together with iSoft and the clinical teams.”
Preparing for go-live had taken a “huge amount of work” as the trust needed to enter all drugs into the database and train staff.
However, it is now in a position to roll-out the system to further wards, including surgical wards, after the New Year.
The IT team is expecting to be able to report back to the trust board in April with results from the proof of concept phase, and to seek approval for wider roll out across the trust.
The electronic prescribing system has been interfaced with the trust’s iSoft patient administration system – PatientCentre – and is one in a series of iSoft systems that it is intending to deploy.
A statement from iSoft, a CSC company, said it was working on also delivering order communications and results reporting, electronic whiteboards, clinical documentation and a clinical portal at the trust.
Walters said the trust’s current strategy was to “keep building on the relationship” it had with iSoft.
That would include taking Lorenzo – the ‘strategic’ electronic patient record system for the National Programme for IT in the NHS in the North, Midlands and East - when it is proved to be viable, which, in Walters’ view, has not yet been achieved.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has also gone live with the ePMA system, and Stockport NHS Foundation trust is expecting to go-live in February.
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