Nottingham first mental health trust to deploy EPR solution

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust helps Ascribe create national electronic patient record for mental health

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has become the first mental health organisation in the country to implement an electronic discharge summary.

The trust has deployed Ascribe’s eDischarge solution so that when a patient is discharged from inpatient mental health services, their information is sent directly to their GP via an electronic system rather than through the post.

Fifteen GP surgeries in Nottingham are now piloting the system, receiving discharges from seven wards across the trust.

The system uses a standardised template that meets national standards, which the trust helped develop last summer. As a result information sent to GPs is now more consistent, legible and easier to understand. Received more quickly, it also ensures that everyone involved in a patient’s care has access to the most up-to-date information to aid their recovery.

Simon Smith, executive director of local services at the trust, said: “I am delighted that we are the first mental health trust in the country to use an electronic discharge summary. This is a very important initiative nationally and it is a key step forward in the trust’s ambition to implement an expanded electronic patient record (EPR).”

Dr Ian Trimble, a GP from Sherwood Health Centre, added: “Information about patients is communicated more swiftly and accurately, which significantly improves patient care and safety. Information can be located and retrieved more quickly in document management systems than from bulky paper records. Ultimately there will be ecological benefits too in reducing the amount of paper printed, posted, scanned and then discarded.

It is particularly beneficial for patient care to have a clear summary after discharge from hospital which gives information about the patient’s management during admission, follow-up plans and any changes to their medication.”

Prior to implementing the electronic summary, the trust’s health informatics service worked in collaboration with The Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of General Practitioners and a selection of other NHS trusts to develop the initiative by designing a joint template which captured all the information needed in a national electronic discharge summary. This work has been facilitated by the Department of Health Informatics Directorate’s Clinical Data Standards Assurance team.

Stephen Critchlow, chief executive of Ascribe, said: “We are pleased to see how successful the launch has been and look forward to working with Nottinghamshire Healthcare in implementing the full project.”

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