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'Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards' funding

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing funding of £592,000, from the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ Technology Fund.  The Technology Fund is available to all NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts in England and attracted more than 760 expressions of interest from Trusts applying for more than £650million.

The funding award will be matched by the Trust, and will be spread over two financial years.  It will be used to develop the Trust’s electronic patient records to create a clinically driven and innovative ‘Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration’ (ePMA) system. This system advancement will bring benefits to patients and GPs, efficiencies to the Trust, and will make it easier for doctors, nurses and healthcare staff to make clinical decisions about patient care.

The ultimate objective of this Trust is to be trusted to deliver safe, effective healthcare to our community. The completed ePMA project will go a long way towards improving how we meet this objective in relation to medicines.

The ePMA system will be developed in partnership with First Databank (FDB), who have been commissioned to provide the drug dictionary and decision support software. ePMA will utilize existing systems such as ‘electronic monitoring and recording of observations’, and ‘electronic transmission of discharge information’.

Engagement with the project is well advanced, with Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy and Systems & Network staff all involved in the early design stages. By way of emphasizing the significance of electronic prescribing as a clinical package, Dr Alastair Turnbull, the Medical Director, has been appointed as Chairman of the Project Board.  Dr Turnbull and Sue Rushbrook, Director of Systems & Network Services, will represent the project on the Trust Board.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a proven track record in the area of Information technology (IT) innovation, and has significant cross professional experience in developments of this type.  Lessons previously learned from complex IT projects will further serve to minimise any risk associated with a launch of this magnitude.

It is expected that the development and initial phase of implementation of the project will be near completion by June 2014, with the second and third phases beginning in July 2014 and November 2014 respectively, and full implementation of ePMA on Acute Trust sites will begin in April 2015.

Clearly, a project of this size and scope will impact on most aspects of medicines management processes. Over the course of the next few months a more in depth series of communications will take place informing both staff and patients of what they can expect.

Enquiries relating to this project can be directed to Mr David Pitkin, Chief Pharmacist, by telephoning 01904 725581.

15 April 2014

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