Hospital trust to launch revolutionary electronic health records system

Clinicians and IT specialists in Southampton have been awarded £1.35million by NHS England to develop a revolutionary electronic health records system.

The technology, which has been carefully selected by doctors, nurses and midwives at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, will enable immediate access to health records and allow the sharing of information with clinical colleagues from secure computers and tablets.

Implementation of the new digital system will be completed by the end of the year and will be followed by a programme of scanning any remaining paper documents about a patient’s care before closure of the health records library in 2017.

Dr Derek Waller, deputy medical director at UHS, said: “This project is great news for patients and clinicians alike as it will make healthcare safer and more efficient, so we are delighted to have secured the funding to allow us to make it happen.

“Over the next three years, the system will revolutionise healthcare delivery and reduce the need for long-term storage of paper health records, saving UHS and our partners Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Solent NHS Trust more than £1million a year.”

Adrian Byrne, director of information management and technology at UHS, added: “This will enable our teaching hospitals to remain exemplar sites for world-class healthcare, research and innovation.

“The move from paper medical records to electronic records also supports the government’s vision of a paperless NHS by 2018 and provides a firm footing for the future of healthcare in Southampton.”

Funding for the project was made available via the Integrated Digital Care Technology Fund, which was launched by NHS England in May 2013 to facilitate progression from paper to digital records.

Last year, UHS received a separate award of £1.1million from NHS England’s Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards scheme to cover half the cost of a new digital monitoring system for critically ill patients across the trust’s five intensive care units.

For any queries relating to the electronic document management system project, contact Toby Cave, information management and technology project manager, on 023 8120 8228.

Further information on the Integrated Digital Care Technology Fund can be found on NHS England's website.

Posted on Thursday 2 April 2015