Feature Content, Secondary Care

Feature: The benefit of a cloud-based EPR for smaller care providers

 A feature by Jason Stevens, Head of SaaS, Servelec

In today’s digital era and with the movement toward remote working, cloud computing is essential for keeping ahead of the curve. The last 10 years have led to significant and widespread adoption of the Cloud thanks to high-capacity networks, virtualisation and service-oriented architecture that create the types of Cloud services we see today. Our need for information, and the importance of having access to data wherever we are, has never been more important, especially with workforces becoming increasingly mobile since the recent pandemic.

Cloud computing allows multiple users to access systems to view and update data in real-time, without the need to run applications or programmes from software downloaded on a physical computer or server. By running remotely, cloud-based software saves time and makes processes more efficient, allowing access to specialist applications and patient data securely via the internet.

For most major NHS trusts, having an electronic patient record (EPR) is essential. By moving from paper-based records or manual processes, you increase patient safety by having a single point of entry to see their history, meaning you can make a more informed decision about their care plan. This also cuts down on admin and data duplication by not having to key in the same information to several different places, for example a spreadsheet or a paper form and then a clinical database.

However, most EPRs require a time intensive software implementation. For smaller care organisations they simply do not have the resources to manage this, and many are stuck using outdated patient record systems because they simply don’t have the infrastructure or digital team to implement it.

Rio is one of the leading EPR solutions on the market, it’s trusted by 150,000 clinicians in the UK, and our aim is to make it completely accessible to organisations of any size.

A software as a service (SaaS) based EPR is the perfect solution to this. At Servelec, we recently launched our Rio Cloud offering, which provides the same comprehensive service as traditional on-premise Rio software, and due to its flexibility and scalability, is available to organisations of all sizes, to take advantage of.

Opening up market access to EPRs

With the need for third sector organisations to hold patient records, a reliable EPR is essential. Many organisations benefit from secure access to patient records and in doing so they open doors to a more joined-up approach to the sharing of health and social care data.

This is not just one niche market and it’s not limited to trusts and GPs. Smaller private healthcare providers, mental health and children’s care charities, education organisations and councils across England and Scotland have all expressed the need to have a fully functioning EPR to support the patient experience and to keep data secure.

However, quite often smaller organisations such as these have typically been able to get by with manual processes and therefore do not have the IT infrastructure to support an on-premise system. Further to this, there is a digital skills gap in the industry – a lack of a full digital team often means that there is not a dedicated member of staff who can oversee or plan a full software implementation.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is famously flexible for those looking for easy to manage software. As with most SaaS solutions, Rio Cloud is incredibly quick to deploy. It can be setup rapidly and the process is incredibly efficient. You still get a dedicated support team, but it requires less planning and management to get it up and running.

It’s also entirely flexible for growth, so it can scale as needed depending on user and business requirements, as well as being cost efficient. Its payment model means reduced capital expenditure on license and infrastructure costs giving you a greater choice, and it’s usually more suitable for the budgets of smaller organisations.

Providing peace of mind

One of the wider benefits of a SaaS solution is that data is completely secure. The software is hosted on Servelec’s secure, private Cloud. Information is accessed safely in Rio via a web browser or mobile device and provides real-time patient information and alerts at the right time in the right place, enabling faster, safer decision-making at the point of care. 

As with many SaaS models, updates are made automatically, meaning you always have the latest version and our application monitoring also allows us to provide pre-emptive support, leading to faster fault resolution.

Servelec has always made data protection and information security a central part of our business and is committed to high standards of privacy and transparency. Rio Cloud is a secure and compliant platform ensuring that your organisation meets all current and future security and data protection requirements.

Mental health charity modernises with Rio Cloud

One of our customers, a charity which offers confidential counselling to young people and their families, can now access the full functionality of Servelec’s Rio Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system securely via a web browser or on a mobile device over the internet.

Previously, it used a basic CRM database along with Excel and Word documents. This meant it didn’t have a complete view of each young person and their full history, which caused frustration for practitioners and created clinical risk. The charity wanted to make sure it could match the digital capability of other organisations within its Integrated Care System (ICS), especially with the ever-increasing demand on Mental Health services. Updating its digital assets and removing paper-based processes was key.

Now with Rio Cloud, it has a holistic view of each patient, with information available to practitioners at the point of care, wherever they are. The charity will be able to configure views and process documentation, care plans, assessments and pathways, and the solution supports all services delivered by community health, mental health, or child health.  It will enable the charity to digitise manual processes, helping improve the service it offers young people and giving it the flexibility to adapt to new ways of working, and grow as it takes on additional services.

Increasing patient safety and delivering the best possible care

Rio Cloud provides best practice assessments, workflows, and care pathways for all care settings, enabling practitioners to do what they do best – care for others.

It also offers a view of real-time patient information, all in one place, and reliable access to critical applications and data, wherever you are.  It’s pre-configured and provides trusted data that can be analysed to inform service development and manage capacity. This enables more informed decision making and frees up time to focus on what really matters, providing the best possible care.

We as software providers have a responsibility to make sure everyone can access the benefits of digital care, so we’re excited to help smaller organisations make a real difference to people in their area.

Servelec is also working extensively to create a joined-up approach to health and care, by opening up Rio APIs so it can communicate with other systems, either in-house or within other organisations. The benefits this is bringing to the sector are huge.

By enabling the interoperability of Rio with other software, clinicians can quickly and easily share vital information on patients with trusted collaborators. This means that everyone involved in that person’s care has a complete holistic view and is not in the dark about any aspect of their patient’s history, which may provide the key to improving their care pathway.

This is the start of a new and exciting era for Servelec. Rio Cloud makes our market leading EPR affordable and easy to use, for any size of organisation, whether it’s for 10 or 10,000 users.


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