Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT paperless clinical documentation

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTH) has successfully transitioned to a paperless environment in its critical care units, where complex workflows and heavy documentation requirements abound.

A team at LTH was tasked to determine how the extensive documentation requirements would be handled in the EPR. Among many features, the team designed and implemented the following:

  • The Intake and Output fluid balances are now automatically calculated and immediately displayed in the record.
  • Assessment scales, including the Glasgow Coma and National Early Warning Scores, are automated reducing the risk of calculation errors and saving precious time for busy clinicians.
  • When entered, data displays in all fields for which it was defined and is immediately made available to all members of the team. Clinicians typically collect over 2,500 data points for each patient and while still on paper, many of these data points were collected multiple times during a Critical Care stay.
  • When a new patient is admitted, the EPR automatically creates tasks to be completed such as admission and risk assessments, which display on the nurse’s work list ensuring adherence to hospital protocols.
  • Embedded and configurable business rules automatically trigger when certain conditions are met such as when documenting a central line or other catheter insertion, QCPR automatically schedules all related nursing tasks for their maintenance, such as site observation and daily dressing changes.

Twenty-two months later LTH is experiencing impressive results. Dr. Daniel Cottle, Consultant Intensivist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust “There was a large improvement in the quality of data calculations—they are now up to 100%”. He adds, “The largest improvement came in the accessibility of the notes. They can now be accessed within one minute from any PC in the Trust. Previously a standard time to deliver notes was two days, reducing to one day in an emergency”.

Dr. Nick Wood, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist and Chief Clinical Information Officer Women’s Health Directorate confirms, “The EPR in the Critical Care Unit at LTH’s hospitals is saving 2200 clinician hours per year by producing key quality measures reports.”

With automated workflows and documentation, Harris Healthcare’s EPR frees clinicians from necessary, but time-consuming tasks—which in turn helps clinicians spend more time on patient care. The solution effectively helps LTH realize its goal to provide “Excellent Care with Compassion.”