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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Building the digital hospital

Oxford University Hospitals is leading the way in health technology, and sees investment in IT systems and processes as key to improving the delivery of patient care.

Our vision is to have our patients' medical history and care requirements available online in real time and easily shared between health professionals.

Electronic Patient Record

The implementation of an electronic system to store and manage patient information is the biggest operational change that the Trust has ever undertaken and is being delivered in phases over a number of years. Known as the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system, it promises to provide a modern and comprehensive set of tools to support the Trust in achieving its strategic goals to be a provider of high quality and efficient patient care and treatment.

The aim is to hold patient records electronically, identifying medical history and ongoing treatment and care requirements, which can be easily shared between health professionals. This includes a picture archiving system for X-ray images and the ordering of diagnostic tests and viewing results.

We have implemented the system for patient administration and we are improving the mechanisms used within the system to record data. We are also working to improve access to the system so that all clinical staff are able to routinely use it.

The Electronic Patient Record - what it means to you

Our vision is to be:

"at the heart of a sustainable and outstanding, innovative academic health science system, working in a partnership and through networks locally, nationally and internationally to deliver and develop excellence in patient care, teaching and research within a culture of compassion and integrity".

Pharmacy robot

The Trust believes that information technology has a crucial role in supporting the Trust's vision of Delivering Compassionate Excellence.

New and innovative information technologies are being deployed by the Trust to revolutionise the way care is provided to patients. The implementation of the Electronic Patient Record systems throughout the Trust is a critical factor that underpins the Trust's overall strategy.

The new systems will enable real time information to radically improve patient care, and enable the Trust to operate in a 'paper light' way, with information available to clinical teams whenever and wherever they need it, with built-in safeguards to protect patient confidentiality.

Electronic Patient Record systems enable the deployment of ePrescribing and automatic dispensing using robots to improve patient safety.

To learn more, watch our video on YouTube:

Mobile working for Nursing and Midwifery staff

The Trust is pleased to announce that it has been awarded funding of £605,000 from NHS England's Nursing Technology Fund. This will be invested in mobile computer equipment to help deliver improved safety and productivity, by enabling nursing staff to access systems from the bedside. The investment will:

  • Enable midwives to access and update patients' electronic records while working in the community. This will mean they have access to the latest information from any location and no longer have to spend time 'in the office' updating the computer system;
  • Support the roll out of electronic prescribing and medication administration across the trust's hospitals. Eliminating the paper based system of prescribing will speed up the process and eliminate the clierical work currently performed by nurses, whilst at the same time providing them with access to electronic drug charts from the bedside;
  • Enable nurse managers to monitor staffing levels and patient acuity information across their areas of responsibility. The use of mobile devices will enable them to access the information at any time from any location and thus ensure their attention is directed to areas where it can have most benefit;
  • Provide tablet computers for use by patients and their families to record their views on Trust services under the 'Friends and family' initiative. An intuitive easy to use interface will encourage people to share their views and provide valuable feedback for the Trust.

Benefits will be realised as part of the trust's strategic Electronic Patient Record project which these investments support. For example, benefits from the delivery of electronic prescribing and medicines administration is projected to save over £1m per annum. Making it easier for patients to access the Friends and Family test will increase response rates and provide the trust with valuable feedback on which service improvements initiatives can be implemented.

In addition, there are major quality benefits from moving to a digital hospital and eliminating the problems associated with paper based systems - available in only one place at a time and questionable legibility.