HISS Frees Clinicians to Focus on Care
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust
Throughout its organisation-wide transition, City Hospitals has always upheld the clear vision and practice reflected in its mission statement: Excellence in Health by Putting People First. "The Trust's first and foremost goal is to focus its services on patients," says Jonathan Storey, head of information management and technology at City Hospitals. "MEDITECH's Hospital Information Support System (HISS) has always been a key component in reaching this goal because it provides such crucial information to our staff the HISS is a tool for putting the patient at the center.
Building An IT Infrastructure
City Hospitals chose MEDITECH's HISS because they felt it was the right
system to accommodate the organisation's goals. "When evaluating information
systems," says Andrew Gibson, chief executive City Hospitals, "the most
important things to identify are what information you need to run the
hospital, and how you wish to present it. We recognized MEDITECH's HISS
as being a clinical information system that could deliver critical patient
and administrative information to our staff within all our organisation's
facilities as well as other care providers in the area."
Paperless Records On Hospital Wards
Nurses at the Trust use MEDITECH's Nursing application to develop care
plans and track patients on the wards. With Patient Care Enquiry, the
basis for MEDITECH's Electronic Patient Record (EPR), authorised nurses
can access secure patient records from anywhere. "The key is that
it relieves nurses and other clinicians from routine paperwork, freeing
them to focus on patient care," says Storey.
At a time when patient admissions are constantly increasing, City Hospitals is equipped to accommodate these surging demands. In the past year, no emergency patients were denied admission during peak winter months. The facility always remained open, and contingency beds were opened where necessary. MEDITECH's Admissions application quickly provides hospital staff the information they need (bed availability for example), easing the process of admitting patients.
Communication Across the Organization
"Communication plays an important role among hospital personnel
at City Hospitals," says Storey. MEDITECH's MAGIC Office was designed
to play an integral part in a healthcare organisation's information system.
Users access data from other MEDITECH applications and computer systems,
maintain user-defined databases, locate staff members quickly, and review
messages. "The benefits of the MEDITECH system," Storey says,
"are apparent throughout the organisation, not only to our clinical
providers, but to management personnel and executives as well."
Bolstering Best Clinical Practice
Lead clinicians and managers have taken the initiative to research and assess volumes of medical and health materials to develop a "Best Practice Database." This program is part of an ongoing effort at the Trust to advance good clinical practice. Using a web browser, a dedicated server, and thoughtful preparation, all types of personnel are becoming organisation-wide champions for important health issues. "Participants research and continually update the most current and relevant 'priorities,' such as coronary heart disease, cancer and human resources, and 'treatment regimes,' for conditions like diabetes and asthma," says Gibson.
Working in Partnership With Primary Care
The Trust has been piloting NHSnet (the UK's link to on-line health) as part of an effort to strengthen links with its primary General Practitioner partners. For example, pathology reports are extracted to standard format and sent from hospital personnel to General Practitioners via e-mail in a matter of seconds. "Using computerised patient records undoubtedly puts information in consultants' hands much faster than traditional paper-based methods," says Gibson.
As healthcare organisations across the United Kingdom strive to form
alliances with primary care providers, the importance of having a fully
integrated, automated system becomes apparent. Organisations rely on software
solutions to keep them in conversation with other facilities, and that
means finding solutions for sharing patient referrals, direct bookings
to clinics, discharges, test results, and contracting data. The Trust
is currently striving towards its goal of interfacing MEDITECH systems
with these other health care providers to get the 'whole picture.'