IT news: News round-up

23-Sep-2011

Improving asset management

DERBY Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is hoping to improve the way it manages assets worth more than £400m with the introduction of a new solution. The trust has implemented Asset4000 from Real Asset Management, providing a centralised asset register, reducing the manual processes normally associated with verifying the location of mobile assets, and reporting on depreciation. The asset base includes X-ray machines, CT scanners, buildings, transport and IT and software systems. Ian Dinwiddie, capital accountant at the trust, said: “Asset4000 is predominantly used as a day-to-day referencing system. We get enquiries from various departments about things such as the current asset value or over what period an asset is being written off. The system helps us access this information and therefore aids decisions about equipment usage and budgeting across the hospital.”

New back office solution launched

PCTI is preparing to launch a new intranet and content management solution designed to help automate back office tasks and assist new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Docman BackOffice will provide a series of solutions, the first of which is Library, which will enable practices to efficiently store, workflow and retrieve all non-patient documents. Libraries can also be searched and tagged to enable better management and retrieval of information. Barry Patsalides, IT services manager at NHS Telford and Wrekin, said: “Shropshire GP practices have been working towards becoming paperless for a number of years. What has been missing so far is the facility to deal more efficiently with the non-clinical records and I believe the introduction of the BackOffice module should go a long way in helping to achieve this.” Norman Brown of the Shropshire Walk-in Centre, added: “The solution will improve our service to patients by enabling us to have fast access to information and policies to inform the patient instantly. It will also enable us to quickly update procedures, price lists, referral forms, templates and operational documents immediately.” BackOffice is available to practices running Docman at no extra cost.

GUM clinic deploys EPR system

THE country\'s busiest genito urinary medicine (GUM) clinic has deployed an electronic patient record (EPR) system to improve productivity, patient satisfaction and the quality and safety of services. The Whittal Street Clinic in Birmingham city centre has installed the Excelicare solution from AxSys Technology and has already seen shorter visit times for patients, with 90% of people being seen within 30 minutes. Patients log onto the system at special kiosks when arriving at the clinic. The answers they give to questions about their medical history are then fed into the EPR and the system is then able to triage individuals to the most appropriate service, either a quick test or a consultation with a consultant. Dr Kaveh Manavi, consultant physician in HIV and GUM at the clinic, said: “Through the triage of patients we have become more efficient and can provide better care. Those presenting with symptoms are seen by a doctor, while those requiring a test can do so quickly and confidentially through our quick test clinic.” The clinic is now working to develop family planning and Chlamydia screening modules. Dr Pradeep Ramayya, chief executive of AxSys Technology, said: “Birmingham Whittall Street clinic has set the gold standard for GUM with its EPR system, facilitating seamless collaborative care between staff, clinics, specialities and services.”

e-Prescribing at Chesterfield

AN ELECTRONIC prescribing programme has been successfully rolled out at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to help increase patient safety. Staff are able to access the system through a mobile workstation using the hospital’s wireless infrastructure. Martin Shepherd, head of medicines management at the trust, said: “We always had in mind to have this completed by March next year, but we wouldn\'t have expected to make the rapid progress that we have done. It is widely recognised that electronic prescribing systems improve the legibility of prescriptions and remove the possibility of prescriptions being misplaced or lost.”

Better theatre management

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THE introduction of theatre management software at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has helped to reduce late starts by 30% over the last six months, analysis shows. Using Trisoft\'s Theatreman software, the trust can now actively use data captured by the system to improve performance, utilisation and planning within theatres. Commenting on its success, Steven Blundell, systems and information manager for anaesthetics, said: “Using the information-rich data we have already made key changes to improve overall theatre utilisation. For example, as part of our productive theatres initiative, we continually monitor sessions starting late. TheatreMan enables us to understand the reasons for the late start, such as if a patient had not given consent, did not attend or was unfit for surgery. We can then respond to specific issues individually. Acting on the information from TheatreMan has helped us reduce late starts by 30% across the trust in the past six months.” The software is also linked to the trust’s bed management system, which helps ward staff to plan for a patient\'s return following surgery.

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