Secondary Care

New patient administration system launched

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) has launched its new system OceanoPAS.

UHB is one of the 12 NHS trusts designated as an NHS Global Digital Exemplar by NHS England, providing access to up to £10m to invest in digital infrastructure and specialist training.

OceanoPAS is the culmination of a four-year project to develop a patient administration system specifically to meet the needs of one of the highest performing acute trusts. Oceano is a new generation patient administration system built on a modular software system that offers an end-to-end solution to support patient care management. It was developed in collaboration with Servelec, the Trust’s commercial partner, to replace iPM which was implemented in 2006 as part of the Government’s now defunct National Programme for IT.

Its integrated functionality allows greater automation of tasks and aims to improve data quality by limiting the scope for user error through a series of controls. Better data is not the only benefit; functionality such as referral and waiting list screens that contain ‘real time’ information aims to improve how the Trust manages patient pathways. For patients, the implementation of OceanoPAS will mean improved correspondence about their hospital appointments and flexible options linked to how they receive communications – for example, email.

Over one million patient records were transferred to the new system which will be used by around 1,500 staff across the Trust, many of whom were involved in designing and testing the software.

UHB’s Director of Strategic Operations, Kevin Bolger, said: “We are delighted that OceanoPAS has been rolled-out across the Trust – it’s very early days but to get to this point is a phenomenal achievement. This launch has been the culmination of many years’ hard work by a very committed team, who have faced some tough challenges.

“Implementing a new patient administration system in itself is no mean feat – the system contains all our patient activity records – demographics, appointments, waiting list entries and is the backbone of the hospital, used daily by hundreds of staff at any given point – however the team did not just implement a new system, they built one.

“The demise of the National Programme for IT resulted in the Trust being in control of the decision making for its electronic patient record strategy – it gave us the opportunity to design an optimised solution. In creating OceanoPAS, our approach has been to make the system as intuitive as possible, to make it hard to do the ‘wrong thing’ by limiting the ability to input incorrect data or select inappropriate actions thus making it easier for our staff to do the ‘right thing’.

“We have been able to harness the extensive knowledge and expertise of our staff – our subject matter experts – in running clinics and managing patient pathways to design a system that works for our Trust. Although it is very early days, staff do like using the system and it is hoped that once it has fully bedded in, both the Trust and patients will see the benefits.”