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Safer hospital, safer wards technology fund - ePrescribing

In May 2013, the Secretary of State for Health and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England, launched the £260 million Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund (now renamed The Integrated Digital Care Fund).

In its first round, the Integrated Digital Care Fund was open to NHS Trusts to support the rapid progression from paper-based clinical record-keeping to integrated digital care records (IDCRs).

The trust has been successful under the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund in obtaining funding to support the implementation of an electronic prescribing and medicines administration system (EPMA) with an aim to improving safety, quality and efficiency.

The EPMA will combine three functions to provide all clinical staff with an integrated view of a patient's medication history, through:

  • electronic communication of a prescription or medicine order
  • aiding the choice, administration and supply of a medicine through knowledge and decision support
  • providing a robust audit trail for the entire medicines use process

In so doing it will deliver a broad range of benefits which can be summarised as follows:

  • Patient safety: no more illegible, ambiguous or incomplete prescriptions; single and comprehensive view of a patient's current and historical drug record; real-time decision support to guide and improve the appropriateness and accuracy of prescribing; real-time view of medicines administration
  • Quality and clinical governance: ability to monitor and evaluate key performance indicators, total visibility of clinical decisions and outcomes.  It is anticipated that EPMA will positively contribute to achieving a range of national and local targets, including NPSA alerts, never events, NICE guidance, CQUINS and antimicrobial stewardship monitoring.
  • Operational productivity: improved communication of real-time information between prescribers, pharmacy and nursing; paper less; streamlined operational and clinical processes; more effective control and management of drug expenditure.

For more information, please read the commencement to proceed notice below.