How NHS hospitals are adapting their Allscripts systems to treat COVID-19 patients

As part of the HTN #HealthTechToShoutAbout feature series, we spoke to Allscripts to hear more about their work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anna Bayes, UK medical director, Allscripts said to HTN “In these unprecedented times, I’m in awe at what healthcare organisations and professionals are dealing with daily. So, we were awe-struck when two of our UK clients chose to continue planned implementations of new functionality during the week of 23 March.

“At Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, the activation of new mobile functionality for community paediatric services went ahead as scheduled. Many of the staff who will benefit from this functionality – which includes offline working for home visits – have been redeployed to acute services; but once this crisis has passed, they will be able to start using this new software right away.

“At Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the recent activation of Sunrise EPR nursing documentation at both Gloucester and Cheltenham hospitals has now been augmented with electronic observation recording, including National Early Warning Score2 (NEWS2) scoring. This will help staff monitor for signs of deterioration and intervene earlier, if required.”

Enabling change

“Other Allscripts clients in the UK have made significant, rapid changes that will help their staff manage those suspected of having COVID-19 and those who have been confirmed. At The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are identified by an icon on the patient header in their electronic record.

“At Gloucestershire Hospitals and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, a specific icon has been added to the ward tracking board, so patients can be identified and managed at ward level and across the hospital. Specific patient lists can also be generated for managing patients requiring isolation.

“Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust updated its Emergency Department clerking documentation to record salient COVID-19 features, enabling a streamlined clerking process and a direct link to a pre-defined battery of pathology and radiology investigations. Again, the ED tracking board provides staff with at-a-glance information about COVID-19 status, so they can put on the appropriate level of protective clothing – prior to entering the patient cubicle.”

Supporting reporting and analysis

“Salford Royal has also made changes to Sunrise critical care documents to ensure appropriate, structured data is recorded consistently. In parallel, its reporting team is providing reports that give an overview of current inpatients and use of high-acuity beds.

“Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust also updated documentation templates. In particular, Liverpool has updated critical care documentation to record symptom onset as well as standard respiratory support requirements. Currently, the trust is looking to convey this data for automatic upload to the Public Health England COVID-19 Hospitalisation in England Surveillance System (CHESS) database to minimise reporting effort and reduce transcription errors.”

Looking to the future

“We are working with our clients to share their newly configured content, together with COVID-19-specific content and decision support rules built by Allscripts. We are also working with them to make sure their systems are ready for the complex protocols that will be required for anticipated COVID-19 drug trials.

“We want to make sure that data is collected as a by-product of normal clinical documentation, rather than requiring re-keying of clinical data to support this research. Not only will the COVID-19 drug trials be amongst the fastest mobilised, but the ability to review and report iterative, consistent outcome data from the EPR in near real-time will be a key benefit to the global fight to stem this pandemic.”