Southern Trust Recognised for Innovation in EHealth
16/10/2014The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has been recognised for its technological innovation in improving patient and client care at the first ever Northern Ireland eHealth and Social Care Awards. The Trust’s Electronic Discharge Summary Project received first prize for ‘Best use of eHealth to Support Integrated Health and Care Services’. The Trust’s Respiratory Team were runners up in the same category for using the PARIS information system to share data between the hospital and community staff caring for patients with chest and lung disease. The Speech and Language Therapy Service in the Newry and Mourne area was also a runner up in the category of ‘Best Use of IT’ for their novel use of video conferencing to provide therapy for stroke patients in their own homes.
The Southern Trust was the first in Northern Ireland to introduce an Electronic Discharge Summary for GPs. Previously, handwritten discharge notes were given to patients to drop into the GP surgery when they got out of hospital. This sometimes led to delays in GPs receiving discharge summaries, led to issues with legibility of handwriting, and may not have always included enough information on treatment plan or medication regime. Now, doctors at Daisy Hill and Craigavon area hospitals use an electronic template which gives the GP immediate electronic access to discharge information which is more legible, comprehensive and timely. Feedback from Trust staff and GPs has been very positive, highlighting how this new system is greatly improving patient safety.
The Trust’s PARIS system also contributes to patient safety by providing an electronic record which can be used both by community and hospital services. Many patients who have chronic lung or chest disease are reviewed at hospital clinics, cared for by community nurses and sometimes also require hospital admission. Having a patient centred electronic record to replace the ‘site’ based record brings all their information together . This fuller profile of each person gives staff a better quality of information, enabling them to make more informed decisions about patient and client care.
Another first of its kind - the video conferencing speech and language service allows a small team of therapists to reach more clients across a dispersed geographical area. In between their face to face sessions, stroke patients can now receive additional support from their therapist through video technology which is installed in their own homes. This allows for a more intensive therapy and improves the patient’s recovery. It also reduces travel time for therapists, allowing them to see more patients each week.
Congratulating all the award winners, Chief Executive of the Southern Trust, Mairead McAlinden said: “In the Southern Trust we have committed to using technology where we can to improve the care we provide and enhance the experience of people using our services. We have made significant investment in a wide range of technological developments over recent years and are keen to support staff in using technology to find new, improved and safer ways of working. Being recognised at the eHealth Awards is a fitting tribute to the work of our clinical, managerial and ICT staff who have embraced the potential of technology in delivering safe, high quality care.”
For further information on the Ehealth Awards log on to: www.hscboard.hscni.net/ehealthandcare
NI e-Health and Care Conference 09/10/14