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Trust’s technology drive on winning streak

14 September 2017
A HOSPITAL trust which has won a string of awards for its pioneering use of technology has been nominated for two more.

Cambridge University Hospitals has been shortlisted for two prestigious Health Service Journal awards in categories called ‘enhancing care by sharing data and information’ and ‘using technology to improve efficiency’.

Both recognise the Trust’s successes in using advanced digit​al Dr Afzal Chaudherytechnology, through its eHospital programme, to provide consistently high quality care and streamlining processes to make things better for patients and staff.

In July CUH became the first UK healthcare organisation to rank in the USA’s prestigious ‘Most Wired’ survey and the same month was awarded ‘best place to work in digital – large organisation’ in the national Digital Technology Leaders’ Awards. It was also highly commended at the 2017 Patient Safety Awards for ‘using technology to improve patient safety.’

Dr Afzal Chaudhry, Renal Consultant and Chief Medical Information Officer, said the latest nominations demonstrate how digitally advanced the Trust is becoming, benefitting staff and patients.

He said, “A key part of the eHospital programme at CUH has been the configuration, implementation and development of the Epic electronic patient record system – the first development of its kind in NHS healthcare. Used concurrently by 3,200 clinicians at peak times, it brings together all clinical and administrative information about each of our patients, in one system, allowing clinicians to record information electronically in a patient’s medical record, in real-time, using mobile and handheld devices.

“So when a patient now arrives for an appointment, as an emergency, or is admitted, the team caring for them can see their medical record in its entirety, wherever and whenever they need to - they are all looking at the same shared information which is vital to care and safety.”

Introduced across the Trust in 2014, the Epic system has halved the time it takes to prepare discharge medications, freeing up much needed beds earlier; cut 4,500 appointments in orthopaedics with clinicians now able to view x-rays and notes digitally; saved almost £1 million a year by reducing adverse reactions to prescriptions; and increased (by 80%) the number of patients receiving antibiotics for sepsis within 90 minutes of arriving in ED.

Dr Jag Ahluwalia, Medical Director and eHospital Executive Lead, added: “We are delighted that our achievements in using advanced digital technology to improve patient care and efficiency is again being recognised at a national level with not one but two HSJ award nominations. What is exciting is that we have only just scratched the surface with what can be achieved with the technology that we now have at CUH. With continuous developments, we are transforming the way we provide care and involving patients much more in their healthcare.”

Winners will be announced at the HSJ Awards ceremony on 22 November 2017.