Paper free prescribing goes live at Scunthorpe hospital

Patients are set to benefit from the rollout of new technology for prescribing and administering medicines at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

The move from a paper to a digital system will improve patient safety as it will help prevent medication errors.

Scunthorpe is the second of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s hospitals to go live with the electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) system. Goole hospital staff started using the system in October.

Months in the planning the ‘go-live’ of the system took place at lunchtime today on ward 24. Other wards will follow in coming weeks.

More than a hundred doctors, nurses and allied health professionals have been trained on the system ahead of the launch.

Staff on ward 24 get to grips with the new system

The system is accessed via workstation on wheels (WoWs) which were rolled out last year so ward staff could familiarise themselves with the new kit.

Doctors can use the system to check appropriate doses and to cross check for allergies as well as drug interactions while they are prescribing. Nurses can see clearly what drug and dose has been prescribed and they can look up information on drugs at their fingertips rather than referring to the paper copy of the formulary. There’s also a clear record of who has administered what and when.

Paulash Haider, assistant chief pharmacist, has led on the project from the early planning and procurement stages right through to go live. He said: “Today’s launch is another big milestone for the project. We’re already seeing the benefits at Goole where staff have embraced the new way of working; fewer prescribing and fewer administering errors.

“Scunthorpe is a bigger hospital so we’ve started with one ward and will continue to rollout ward by ward over the next few months. Staff are already getting to grips with the system and hand written prescriptions will soon become a thing of the past.”

Jodie Harrison, clinical sister, was the first nurse on the ward to administrate medicines using the system

Jodie Harrison clinical sister, on ward 24 was the first nurse on the ward to administer medicines using ePMA. She said: “It’s easy to use and will make drug rounds more efficient once people have got used to the system. It will reduce the chance of potential errors in administration as it clearly highlights what medication, at what dosage is due at what time.”

The Trust was successful in bidding for a £940,000 slice of national funding to rollout ePMA. Goole hospital went live with the system in October, Scunthorpe is set to be complete by the end of Summer with Grimsby hospital starting soon after.

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