Inspectors put UK’s leading digital hospital centre stage

12 June 2019
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) has today - Wednesday 12 June - been presented with a top international award for the quality and use of its digital systems in improving patient care during a presentation ceremony in Helsinki, Finland.

The Trust has officially validated against a tough new Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM).Katie Webb, Carolyn Crookes, Nickie Harding and Afzal Chaudhry

It means that the Trust, which became the first in the UK to achieve this accreditation under the new HIMSS judging criteria, has established clear goals for improving safety, minimising errors, and recognising the importance of healthcare IT. 

It also puts the Trust on course to achieve HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, which is the highest accolade for digital adoption and currently held by only five European healthcare organisations.

CUH was formally presented with its Stage 6 validation award at today’s HIMSS Europe Conference in Helsinki, Finland, attended by guests from all over the world.
This accreditation came after HIMSS inspectors observed staff in October 2018 using the Trust’s fully integrated electronic patient record system, called Epic, in departments including paediatrics, pharmacy, care of the elderly, transfusion, radiology, accident and emergency and medical records.

 CUH renal consultant and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Dr Afzal Chaudhry, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be validated and to formally accept our Stage 6 award today. We would like to thank our hard-working staff and our Epic colleagues for making this happen.

“Clinical decision support combined with electronic prescribing is helping prevent at least 850 significant adverse medication reactions a year with allergy-related alerts triggering a change in prescriptions, and we have reduced sepsis mortality by approximately 40 per cent with electronic alerts designed and built by ourselves within our electronic patient record.

“Today over 99 per cent of all our clinical activity is recorded in a patient’s electronic health record, using integrated computers, laptops, handheld and mobile devices. We also have over 7,000 patients using our MyChart patient portal, which is automatically populated with information held within a patient’s electronic health record at our hospitals.”

Executive Director of Improvement and Transformation, Dr Ewen Cameron, added: “To validate against the new criteria shows how far we have come. Our aim now is to further advance our use of technology to provide even greater benefits to our patients and staff.” 

HIMSS Analytics Regional Director for Europe and Latin America, John Rayner, said: “It was a pleasure to formally present Cambridge with its new stage six award. This organisation has made enormous progress in digital adoption since its electronic patient record go-live in 2014.” 

Last year CUH successfully introduced barcode medication administration - international best practice for safety with the scanning of both a patient’s barcode wristband and medication barcode – across all 51 inpatient wards, five critical care areas and its emergency department.

Staff in paediatric, neonatal and maternity areas now scan communally-stored expressed human milk to ensure the right babies are given the right milk each and every time.

Both of these initiatives are key aspects of the new HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 judging criteria.