Hospital trust's new electronic discharge system wins national award

eDischargephoto

The pharmacy and IT teams at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have won national recognition for a pioneering electronic patient discharge system.

The eDischarge program, designed by medical staff along with principal pharmacist Mark Pepperrell and eRecords projects analyst Nilesh Patel at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, means pharmacists and doctors now enter medicinal information directly into an electronic document before a patient is discharged rather than on to a handwritten sheet.

The advancement has led to a rapid improvement in legibility and speed of discharge information, resulting in SUHT being named the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and UK Clinical Pharmacy Association’s information technology award winner for 2010.

Doctors can enter clinical information into the system and sign off the medication with a pharmacist – any additional notes, such as blood test results, can be filtered in at any time.

It is then immediately reviewed in the dispensary via an electronic worklist so that medicines can be released. Patients are given a copy of the discharge sheet when they leave hospital.

The document is then transferred electronically to an online system where all participating GPs in Hampshire can gain access to their patients’ notes. Some GPs are also capable of receiving the message directly into their system.

Adrian Byrne, director of information management and technology, said: “This system provides staff within the Trust, patients and their GPs access to clear and precise information on their medications and discharge notes quickly.

“It is another major advancement in IT at the Trust that is helping us to provide better services to our patients and partners in the most efficient way possible.”

Sharron Millen, head of clinical pharmacy, added: "The development of the eDischarge system has had significant benefits to the workflow within the pharmacy service. The system allows easy access to identify patients for discharge and removes the need for transport of prescriptions to the individual dispensaries."

Posted on Tuesday 26 October 2010