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Triple award success for UK’s most digital NHS trust

07 November 2017
World famous Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) is celebrating triple recognition success at national IT healthcare awards.

The Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie hospitals, was awarded ‘Trust of the Year’ for digital excellence at the prestigious ehi Awards and its Chief Clinical Information Officer, Dr Afzal Chaudhry, won ‘CCIO of the Year’. Susan Greenhill, former Head of Clinical Information Systems, also picked up the award for ‘Digital Leader of the Year’ at the national Women in IT Excellence Awards, held the next day, for her eHospital leadership at CUH.Dr Afzal Chaudhry

The prestigious ehi Awards, held in Birmingham on October 31, celebrated contributions from individuals and organisations across the healthcare IT industry, whilst The Women in IT Excellence Awards (1 November) recognised the ground-breaking work of women in IT.

Known for its pioneering eHospital digital programme, CUH was the first NHS trust to implement the Epic electronic patient record (EPR) system across both its hospitals in October 2014. It was also the first to launch a patient portal, called MyChart, which is an integral part of the same EPR system, giving patients access to their medical information.

 The ehi judging panel described CUH as having the best innovative use of technology to improve patient services, providing better patient outcomes and improving Trust efficiency.

Dr Chaudhry was delighted with this success. He said: “I am extremely proud of the digital achievements which have led to CUH winning these awards.

 “The vision of eHospital in 2010 was to use advanced technology to improve patient safety, provide high quality care, contribute to better outcomes, drive efficiencies and enable clinicians to electronically access patient information whenever they needed it, so reducing delays to patient care.

 “Since the introduction of the Epic electronic patient record system we have halved the time it takes to prepare discharge medications, freed up much needed beds; and saved 4,500 appointments a year in orthopaedics by enabling clinicians to view notes and x-rays digitally.

“We have prevented at least 850 significant adverse medication reactions each year thanks to allergy-related electronic prescribing alerts, resulting in an annual saving of almost £1 million. With electronic sepsis alerts we have increased by 80 per cent the number of patients receiving treatment for sepsis within 90 minutes of arriving at ED.  All inpatients wear barcoded wristbands which, when scanned, opens up their electronic medical record in Epic. In paediatrics we simultaneously scan a patient’s wristband and their prescribed medications to further improve safety; an initiative which is currently being rolled out across all wards. We have also installed digital kiosks so patients can electronically check-in for appointments, with directions on how to get to clinics displayed on-screen. I feel very fortunate to work alongside incredible colleagues who have played a huge part in turning our digital vision into reality.”

Staff using a workstation on wheels to access EpicDr Jag Ahluwalia, Director of Digital at CUH, added: “These accolades are a tremendous achievement and demonstrate how far our digital development has come and the improvements to patient care and safety. Dr Chaudhry has been an inspiration and thoroughly deserves the title of CCIO of the Year, as does Sue Greenhill for Digital Leader of the Year. We are officially the most digitalised trust in the UK and leading the way in the Government’s ambition of a digital NHS.”

The awards follow numerous digital successes for the Trust. Earlier this year NHS England selected CUH as one of 16 Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) trusts – those who are leading the way in digital healthcare and supporting other trusts to develop digitally. In the summer CUH became the first non-American Trust to rank in the USA’s prestigious ‘Most Wired’ survey, was awarded ‘best place to work in digital – large organisations’ at the Digital Technology Leaders’ Awards, and was highly commended for ‘best use of IT to improve patient safety’ at the national Patient Safety Awards. 

CUH has also been shortlisted for two Health Service Journal Awards for best use of technology in enhancing patient care and for improved business efficiency, with the winner due to be announced on 22 November.