Hillingdon hospital trust reaps benefits of web-based diabetes system

Twinkle.NET from Hicom provides the Hillingdon diabetes and endocrine unit with secure, anytime, anywhere access to patient records, together with auditing capabilities for BPT

The Hillingdon Hospital‘s children and young people with diabetes team has experienced time savings, reporting and auditing benefits and improved the patient experience since implementing Twinkle.NET from Hicom.

A web-based paediatric multi-disciplinary EPR system for managing patients with the chronic condition of diabetes, Twinkle.net has opened up secure anytime, anywhere access to patient records for clinicians, facilitating more-frequent and easier community visits, together with time savings in auditing procedures for Best Practice Tariff (BPT) funding and the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit.

The main driver originally for selecting Twinkle.NET was that we wanted a solution specifically for the paediatric department that was web-based so that it could be used within our school clinics and, at some point in future, during home visits to allow staff remote access to patient data securely via laptops

The children and young people’s diabetes team is based at The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and implemented Twinkle.NET paediatric in April 2013. The solution is a Microsoft. net based application that includes a comprehensive electronic health record tailored to the needs of paediatric specialists, as well as administrative and audit tools. Prior to implementing Twinkle.NET the unit was using a standalone system that was also used for adult patients.

Dr Jai Ganapathi said: “The main driver originally for selecting Twinkle.NET was that we wanted a solution specifically for the paediatric department that was web-based so that it could be used within our school clinics and, at some point in future, during home visits to allow staff remote access to patient data securely via laptops.”

Twinkle.NET is used by two consultants, three paediatric diabetes nurses, two dieticians, psychologists and an adult transition consultant, as well as an adult diabetes specialist nurse. The system allows access to the same patient information for all users regardless of their working location.

Ganapathi said: “With an ever-increasing number of diabetes patients coming to us, Twinkle has its advantages. It has helped us to accommodate and care for this growing number of patients and it enables us to identify specific groups or individuals that need help from the team.

“Twinkle.NET has the added advantage that the unit is able to carry out audits against the Best Practice Tariff (BPT) quite simply via the system. This not only saves time, but also improves the documentation available to the commissioners to prove the unit meets the tariff and can reap the benefits of BPT. It also enables robust data collection for the National Paediatric Diabetes audit.”

The hospital utilises Hicom’s Twinkle.NET and interface to link to the trust’s Patient Administration System (PAS) to prevent staff duplicating activity across both. This means that data is only input into one system, but information is available on both databases and available in the community.

Ganapathi added: “Upon implementation, we anticipated that Twinkle.NET would provide multiple benefits and it has done so. Not only has it enabled us to meet BPT requirements but the web-based functionality has meant use of the EPR in the community is possible, providing benefit to patients. Furthermore, the way the solution interfaces with our PAS solution means it has prevented duplicate data input, saving staff valuable time.”

using Twinkle, clinicians operate with a live clinical record which automatically generates a clinical letter at the end of each clinic and the next working day letters are dispatched, proving a considerable time saving

Further time savings have also been experienced by the hospital since implementing Twinkle.NET.

Ganapathi said: “A key time saving is the reduction in the time it takes to produce clinical letters after patient contact. For example, in the past we would have to dictate a letter after seeing a patient, the secretary then typed and printed the letter which was checked and then signed by a clinician - taking around two weeks from patient contact to letter dispatch. However, in using Twinkle, clinicians operate with a live clinical record which automatically generates a clinical letter at the end of each clinic and the next working day letters are dispatched, proving a considerable time saving.

“The information displayed in the letter meets the audit criteria and is less confusing to parents and patients. It also gives more impetus to the information and what they need to take from it, resulting in an improved patient experience.”

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