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Innovative IT system nominated for national health award

13 Sep 2016 16:31:08

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust’s new in-house clinical IT system has been shortlisted for a national award for helping transform the way colleagues across the hospital and community provide patients with the right care at the right time.

The Trust’s SEPIA clinical portal has been shortlisted in the ‘Enhancing Care By Sharing Data and Information’ category of the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, which for 35 years have recognised and celebrated the finest achievements in the NHS.

Hospital and community health services merged across Rotherham in 2013, which meant the Trust had an opportunity to develop new software to gather accurate, real-time information about patients.

Colleagues can now see patient demographics, including, live views of Accident and Emergency attendees, lab results, admissions to hospital and discharge dates for patients across the community. Health professionals can access the information from desktops, laptops and hand-held devices with information spanning all departments, including A&E, theatres and community settings.
James Rawlinson, Director of Health Informatics at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said the software has resulted in patients being cared for more quickly and efficiently.

“Community matrons told us they often spent a significant amount of time travelling to the hospital, visiting wards and making phone calls to help provide information to colleagues about patients who were ‘known’ to them in the community. This new way of working has freed up time for staff who can now spend more time with patients.” he said.

“When we started to develop this new system we wanted to build something in-house that was cost effective and helps staff make the best decisions about their patients’ care based on up to date, accurate information.
“To do this, we worked with teams in the community, operations and IT and formed a task group, we began to build the system and regular reviewed our progress. We also worked with the wider community nursing teams through training events and workshops.

“Community teams are now able to spend more time providing safe clinical care through increased visits to patients across Rotherham. We’re thrilled our hard work has been recognised with the HSJ award nomination and I’m sure it will inspire us to continue to improve the system further.”

Figures show more than 140,000 page views in July and 91,530 in August, with A&E and patient records being the modules most frequently accessed.

Access to the portal is controlled to protect patient confidentiality and to make sure changes cannot be made to patient records.
GPs can also log onto the system, and over the next year, the Trust plans to integrate more systems into the portal, including those from partner organisations such as social work teams and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Work is also underway to determine how the portal could be utilised by other Trusts.

Joanne Mangnall, Deputy Head of Nursing for Community at the Trust, added: “Before we had SEPIA we could be wasting time ringing around trying to track down patients who’d been admitted into hospital, or visiting the wards to see if any of their patients had recently been admitted. Now this is done in real-time from any device and we can see the patient’s clinical history, who is looking after them and determine how they should be cared for in future. We’re more efficient and able to be provider better levels of care to greater number of patients.”

The HSJ Awards will take place on 23 November 2016 at the Riverside InterContinental 02 Hotel in London. The full 2016 HSJ Awards shortlist can be found here: https://awards.hsj.co.uk/2016-shortlist


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