Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust launches electronic patient record system

Improved clinical outcomes and patient experience are expected to be delivered at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and in the local care community following the successful go-live of its Cambio COSMIC electronic patient record system

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) in Harlow, Essex, and Cambio Healthcare Systems - specialists in providing integrated electronic patient record (EPR) systems - have worked together for 18 months aiming to transform the provision of frontline care, ensuring better outcomes for patients and increased efficiencies for the trust.

COSMIC is already helping clinicians from all specialties and disciplines to share information more effectively and work better together to improve the health outcomes of their patients

The recent rollout at the 489-bed hospital, including services it provides in a number of nearby hospitals and outpatient clinics, means that the Cambio COSMIC EPR system replaces the trust’s obsolete McKesson patient administration system.

The EPR system holds patient details in a single central database, providing healthcare staff with instant access to accurate patient information and effective tools to communicate, or refer patients, across multiple healthcare settings.

The EPR provides a more joined-up and accessible healthcare system to the local population of 350,000, as well as enhanced support for care in the community and opportunities for increased patient involvement in healthcare decisions through online patient access to their health records.

“This is a remarkable achievement for the trust,” said chief executive, Phil Morley. “COSMIC is already helping clinicians from all specialties and disciplines to share information more effectively and work better together to improve the health outcomes of their patients. In this partnership with Cambio we are at the start of a journey that will enable us to take significant steps towards becoming paperless, whilst helping to fulfil, in the longer term, our ambitions for the trust.”

Anthony Lundrigan, the trust’s chief information officer, said: “The COSMIC EPR signifies a turning point for the trust as the system is much more advanced than the 26-year-old patient administration system we had before. This will enable us to deliver significant improvements for patients and help us with our efficiency challenges. I want to thank our patients for being so supportive and to congratulate the staff on getting to grips so quickly with such a big change in the way they work.”

The COSMIC EPR is an integral part of the trust’s Building for Excellence initiative that aims to improve clinical and administrative working practices across the hospital and in the local community, while delivering significant operational performance improvements and efficiency savings.

“The successful launch of the COSMIC EPR system is testament to early engagement with clinicians, clearly-defined and realistic goals, a robust business case, change management and benefits process and the right technology,” said Morley.

Cambio’s UK managing director, Philip May, added: “Our shared patient-led vision with the trust and development of IT systems in close co-operation with those working in healthcare - the doctors, nurses, administrators and IT technicians – means our systems successfully support frontline staff as they make day-to-day decisions on how to deliver the best possible care for their patients.”

The COSMIC EPR signifies a turning point for the trust as the system is much more advanced than the 26-year-old patient administration system we had before

The programme’s first phase enables the registering, admission, transfer and discharge of patients, the delivery of an outpatient clinic appointments system, the installation of streamlined patient-tracking technology and, for the first time, the digitalisation of the hospital’s maternity care records. Community midwives are also being issued with mobile WiFi tablets to use in patients’ homes.

Moving forward, phase two will include ordering and reporting on a wide range of healthcare tests, including imaging, and built in e-prescribing and medicines management. The COSMIC system’s flexible nature and the long-term partnership approach set out by Cambio and the trust, means the hospital can continue to deliver against its ambitious technology strategy even as demands and challenges change.

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