The EPR will give the multi-disciplinary team including midwives, maternity support workers, obstetricians, paediatricians, neonatal nurses, health visitors and GPs more time to care for patients.
Other benefits include a reduction in the amount of paper form-filling that staff currently need to complete and an assurance that notes and patient information are always available for maternity staff.
From Thursday 1 March 2018, sees the following changes introduced:
- The launch of a new ‘self-referral’ form on the Trust’s Maternity website to enable women to quickly and easily refer themselves into the Maternity Service when they find out they are pregnant. A contact telephone number will be provided for those women who are not digitally connected.
- Introduce laptops for midwives working in community settings, such as GP surgeries, childrens centres, supermarkets and leisure centres. This will allow staff to access the most up-to-date information relating to the woman’s care.
Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, UHMBT, who has led the EPR Optimisation Programme within the Maternity Service, said: “These developments will transform the way we currently work, significantly increasing the amount of time for clinicians to provide care for women and to assist in further standardising the maternity services across Morecambe Bay. We believe that by ensuring patient information can be accessed and captured when our staff are with women, it will allow us to deliver more personal and safer care for our women and their families.”
Chris Moore, Lead Midwife for the project, UHMBT, said: “The project has been led by members of the multi-disciplinary team over the past 12 months. During this time, we have benefited from the wide and varied input from a significant number of my colleagues from within the service at workshops to help design the new way of working. The support from our IT colleagues has also been fantastic, which has helped to ensure that between us we have got the new processes and technology right”.
“The changes are a significant departure from the current way of working but they deliver real benefits for the service and for women and their families across Morecambe Bay.”
The project has also developed a real-time ‘Maternity View’ into the EPR that will be available seamlessly from the EMIS GP system. This delivers GP’s with fast and easy access to view the woman’s maternity record within the EPR on the occasions when they need it, such as if the woman has encountered a significant event during their pregnancy and has gone to see their doctor. In this instance, GP’s will be able to access details of alerts entered into the EPR and also be able to read details of any assessments that have been recorded to date by midwives and entered into the EPR.
John Glover, Chief Information Officer for Bay Heath and Care Partners, said: “Enabling women from across the bay to self-refer into this service is an important step forwards that demonstrates the positive impact digital technology can have in facilitating efficient personalised healthcare, specifically in this case putting the woman in control of her own care and removing an unnecessary visit to see her GP.”
“I am also delighted to see another example where important clinical information is being safely and securely shared in real-time; helping to ensure that the right information is available, to the right person at the right time. The next step in this work will be to make this information, and a range of other digital health services, available to our patients through a free to use app, in turn establishing a new digital relationship with our population that helps them to stay well and get the best from their health services.”
Over the past year UHMBT has attracted the attention of national and international colleagues for its work on the clinically-led EPR. Back in the summer the Trust’s Emergency Departments (ED) took a major step towards becoming ‘Paperlite’ by removing the paper casualty card (CAS) that was used in ED and replacing it with an Electronic CAS Chart available within the EPR. The casualty card was a paper record of any treatments and procedures undertaken by medical staff whist the patient was in the ED department.