Medway NHS Foundation Trust, which serves a community of approximately 400,000 and 70 GP practices, is working with software firm, Ideagen, to introduce an electronic order communications system.
The Kent-based NHS Foundation Trust will adopt Ideagen OCM, Ideagen’s order communications system, in a six-figure project.
Focusing initially on pathology and radiology investigations, Ideagen OCM will be launched across the whole health economy, including external GP practices, prisons, and other local care providers.
The system will be expanded to other diagnostic services such as cardiorespiratory over time.
Chris Stiff, IT programme manager for the trust, who is overseeing the roll out of the new system, said: “This exciting new software solution will enhance both patient care and experience.
“At the moment, everything is manual and paper-based in regards to order communications and, therefore, with the high number of requests processes, the opportunity for data entry errors is very high.
“The Ideagen OCM project will allow us to significantly reduce our data entry error rate and allow for almost all requests to be made and received electronically.
“Electronic ordering of investigations will enable immediate cross checking with previous requests to ensure the appropriateness of these requests and avoid duplication or unnecessary investigations.
“Although we will still receive some paper requests from those in the field, such as community midwives and district nurses, Ideagen OCM will significantly reduce those requests. As a result, this will improve overall data quality and reduce the costs associated with processing each paper request.
“This will enhance not just the experience and day-to-day working practices for staff, but also the experience for patients and increase and above all else, patient safety.”
Ideagen OCM is a browser-based order communications system which has been developed to meet the needs of pathology, radiology and other diagnostics services in both primary care and hospital departments.
It is currently used extensively across the UK’s NHS, with millions of requests processed by thousands of clinicians every year.
As well as enhancing the experience for both staff and patients, the Medway Ideagen OCM project will also help the trust as it works to meet the Government’s Paperless 2020 target, which is aimed at digitising the NHS.
Stiff said: “This project certainly ties in with the paperless 2020 manifesto and we are looking forward to working with a single system, which will provide increased visibility and communications across primary and secondary care in Kent and Medway.”
Kevin McSharry, Ideagen’s head of healthcare, added: “We are absolutely delighted and extremely excited to be working with Medway NHS Foundation Trust on this project – which is a forward thinking project in line with the UK Government’s paperless NHS demands.
“Our Ideagen OCM software is very much at the forefront in the quest to modernise order communications within healthcare and we are looking forward to this project with Medway immensely.”