A new system is being launched this week as the Trust moves patient records from paper documents into digital form.
The Cerner Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system goes live on Friday 3 November and aims to greatly enhance the hospital experience for staff and patients.
So, what does the change mean for those going to the hospital? Below we outline the key questions.
1. Why has Cerner EPR been brought in?
This digital transformation marks a big change for the Trust, as it changes the way that we work and provides a smoother care journey for our patients.
Cerner EPR will improve the quality of our patient information and speed up access to providing high-quality care.
It will also significantly improve the way in which we communicate and share information with partners, including our colleagues in primary care, social care and community services.
2. Will I see a change in the level of care I receive in hospital?
No, patient care is not affected by the launch. Our teams may be a little slower than usual as they learn their way around the new system.
Patients won't have to repeat the same information multiple times or have to wait for their records to be transported around the Trust - it's all at the clinicians’ fingertips in a new, digital format.
3. What about away from hospital?
Patients might notice some differences in the way we communicate with you and at appointments.
There might also be some longer waiting times as we get used to the new system so we appreciate your patience and understanding.
4. What does it mean for patient record confidentiality and safety?
Access to records will only be available to authorised staff and there is a strict governance policy around this. The information will be stored off site and the data will therefore be less vulnerable to cyber-attack or to outside agencies. All patient data will be stored in the UK.
5. What will happen to paper records?
Electronic patient records will start to be built as soon as the system is introduced. Over time, paper records will gradually become less relevant and the need to access and store them will reduce. Paper records that need to be accessible on the new system can be scanned in and there is also functionality built in to create forms.
However, the EPR system is not intended to be a direct replacement for all paper notes, as in many cases there is a better way of doing things electronically. This transformation project will impact all staff and we’ll be looking at workflows of all specialities to design smooth processes.
6. What does it mean for staff?
One of the biggest benefits is having more information about patients in one place. Less time spent searching for information means there is more time for patient care, resulting in faster decisions about appropriate treatment.