Ease prescribing as paperless system is go!
05 August 2015
Southend University Hospital has recently launched its electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) system, also known as e-prescribing.
Designed to save staff time, help improve the flow of patients
and, most importantly, help improve patient safety and overall
quality of care, it was successfully rolled out onto Balmoral ward
after several months of training and testing.
Benefits include the elimination of errors from handwritten
prescriptions, decreasing the risk of medication errors. The system
also offers decision support to providing clinical information
which helps guide them through the e-prescribing process.
It's already having a positive impact on staff. Nurse Hayley
Cross from Balmoral ward, said: "We were a bit hesitant of the
change but have adapted to it quite quickly. We still have some of
our patients' details on paper charts and can't wait for all the
patients to change to e-prescribing. The time saved in not having
to search for paper charts and not having to send the charts to
pharmacy is so invaluable on the busy ward. It's better for us and
better for patients."
The move to ePMA is part of the government's wider plans to
create a 'paperless' NHS by 2018. The project is part-funded
via the government's 'Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards: Technology
Fund'. Its launch has been a successful group effort with teams
from pharmacy, IT, nursing and clinicians all involved in the
configuration, drug file building, testing and training to get the
system ready for use.
Chris Overland, pharmacy electronic prescribing and computer
services manager, said: "This newly installed JAC ePMA module will
'close the loop' between a doctor prescribing a prescription on the
ward, the drugs being dispensed in pharmacy, and nurses
administering them to a patient. It will provide a complete
electronic record of medicines prescribed, dispensed and
e-prescribing will continue to be rolled out across wards and
outpatient clinics over the next 18 months.