Tool will improve patient safety by reducing medication errors and releasing time to care
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has deployed Altera Digital Health’s Sunrise electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) functionality trust-wide, including within two hospitals and two emergency departments, accelerating the trust’s digital maturity.
MTW first went live with Altera Digital Health’s Sunrise EPR 18 months ago, laying the foundation of the trust’s 10-year digital transformation strategy.
The move has improved operational efficiency and patient outcomes and played an important role in helping the trust rank seventh out of 120 trusts nationally for services to patients.
ePMA, the latest ambitious phase of transformation, is now live across the trust, embedded within the EPR.
This will improve patient safety by reducing medication errors and improve experiences for clinicians as the EPR is able to enhance their workflows and release time for care.
The system will enable accurate, timely prescribing processes, operating as an assistive tool for clinicians.
“The system is going to completely transform ways of working for our pharmacists, many of whom are working digitally for the first time,” said Mildred Johnson, chief pharmacist and chairman of the EPMA Project Board at MTW.
“The system will increase prescriber awareness when duplicate high-risk medicines are prescribed, starting with anti-coagulants, reducing medication errors and giving pharmacists extra assurance.
“We expect this to be especially valuable in busy periods, when medication errors can be more likely.
“The system has been set up for an alert to be generated when there is a high-level drug interaction during the prescribing process.”
The rollout was conducted over two weekends, building on learnings from previous go-lives, as well as multiple trial runs before launch.
The dedication from the team at MTW, underpinned by robust clinical engagement, has enabled the trust to take a significant step in its digital transformation while enhancing patient safety
Programme director for EPR and digital transformation at the trust, Jane Saunders, said: “The success of the project was down to the thorough training, preparation, and support put in place before and throughout the go-lives.
“The trial runs we conducted helped us to make better operational decisions and streamline the launch, causing minimal disruption to patient care.”
Eighty per cent of nurses were trained before go-live, with training methods including videos, webinars, written guides, and face-to-face sessions, so staff could select the best approach for them. This meant that little support was required by nursing staff from the pharmacy ambassadors and transcribing team who were superusers.
Johnson said, “We are seeing a major benefit to our on-call doctors and pharmacists, who are now able to prescribe remotely as they can access the system from anywhere.
“It means our clinical staff on wards are spending less time on the phone to get medication prescribed and can spend more time with patients.”
Dr Anna Bayes, international medical director at Altera Digital Health, added: “The dedication from the team at MTW, underpinned by robust clinical engagement, has enabled the trust to take a significant step in its digital transformation while enhancing patient safety.”
Next, MTW will work towards piloting Electronic Discharge Notification (EDN) across four wards, as well as rolling out ePMA in maternity later this year, with paediatrics to follow in 2024.
The trust will also deploy the Sunrise Surgical Care solution alongside the Provation iPro anaesthetic record later this year.