More than 80 per cent of outpatient clinics at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) do not need paper case notes, thanks to the introduction of the Lorenzo Electronic Patient Record (EPR).
In March 2019 this meant that 26,000 case notes did not have to be transported to clinics across the Trust’s sites.
The outpatient paper-lite project was introduced in April 2013 and has seen benefits in the following areas.
- Multiple members of staff can access up-to-date patient information instantly, at the same time and from anywhere in any of the hospitals
- Staff can access a patient’s history meaning they don’t have to give the same information twice
- It can flag up safeguarding needs for patients who are frequent fallers or have had infections
- Staff can easily access treatment policies
- It reduces delays in finding paperwork, improves legibility and limits paper notes lost.
Dr Adrian Brodison, Consultant Cardiologist, UHMBT, said: “Having all of the patient’s clinical information easily available on the computer in a digital format has revolutionised the way UHMBT delivers all clinical care especially in outpatient departments.
“Before the use of the digital record across the board we could not reliably be certain that all the clinical details were present, especially when the patient may be seeing several teams and having admissions concurrently.
“The use of paper notes in years past was very slow especially when the patient had a large volume of notes. For cardiology, in particular, having all our cardiac tests, particularly ECGs, available in a digital format with a non-deteriorating picture resolution has allowed us to make decisions benefiting patient care at the first appointment rather than searching for pieces of paper which often are not immediately available and take an inordinate amount of time to find.”
Sue Smith, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “In Morecambe Bay our population is very dispersed and using technology can help us deliver services more effectively, closer to patients and meet patient’s aspirations.
“By introducing the EPR in outpatients, the Trust has not only seen a reduction in paper notes and our carbon footprint but has offered the Trust the opportunity to ensure that critical patient information is presented to the clinician at the right time and the right place.”