Friday, May 4, 2012

UK trust kicks off largest hospital-based e-prescribing project

Birmingham's Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has launched a full implementation of e-prescribing and drug administration across three acute care sites. JAC's E-Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) system has been selected for the project, expected to be the largest of its kind in the UK.

The roll-out of hospital EPMA will provide advanced functionality and reporting tools for managing inpatient and TTO (to-take-out) medicines to several thousand front-line clinicians and cover over 1,800 beds across all the wards and theatres at Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals, a press release stated.

The implementation is being given a high priority and is due to be completely rolled out by July 2009 - 14 months after the implementation team was expanded in preparation for the full roll-out. A dedicated team of pharmacy and nursing staff is in place to manage the process across the trust.

The EPMA system is also fully integrated with the trust's Pharmacy Management system.?Niall Poole, electronic prescribing project manager at the trust, said, "Integrating the EPMA system provides a comprehensive medicines management solution that connects clinical and pharmacy staff across the trust."

Officials said the system further supports patient safety by incorporating the Multilex Drug Data File, from First DataBank Europe. Multilex DDF provides the system's clinical users with patient-specific clinical decision support to actively check for drug-drug interactions, duplicate therapies and drug allergies.

"E-prescribing minimises the risk of medication errors in many ways: from the very basic, such as producing legible prescriptions which are not subject to the difficulties and potential dangers of reading and interpreting handwriting, to the very advanced such as drug interaction information at the point of prescribing," said Poole.

Robert Tysall-Blay, JAC's chief executive, said, "Today, the large majority of hospitals are still using a paper-based prescribing system so it is encouraging to see that trusts are realising the benefits that e-prescribing can offer, notably improved patient safety and overall medicines management."

The trust plans to implement e-prescribing in its outpatient processes in the future.

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