Hartlepool health bosses are embracing the digital age in accident and emergency

Health trust is embracing 'digital first' system.
Health trust is embracing 'digital first' system.

The latest digital project for Hartlepool health bosses is already proving a success.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is ploughing ahead with a 'digital first' ethos which allows staff time to be spent more efficiently in the accident and emergency department.

Dr Graham Evans.

Dr Graham Evans.

The Trust is already using TrakCare to quickly access patient records and keep their information safer.

Now, a new phase of the project has gone live in the emergency department and is already bringing benefits.

It includes easier access to notes at any point in the patient journey that can be read instantly. This frees up clinicians to spend more time with patients than looking for paper documentation.

Active Clinical Notes (ACN) - the removal of paper notes - means that the details of patient treatment are now added directly to the patient’s Electronic Paper Record (EPR).

The wider roll-out of ACN is now being planned for replication across all the hospital ward areas, it’s envisaged to be complete by the end of the year.

With a continued focus on digital capabilities, these new technologies lay the ground work for innovative ways to deliver care across the trust.

Dr Graham Evans, Chief Information and Technology Officer for the trust, said: "When delivering emergency care, time is absolutely crucial, creating a system that saves time directly saves lives.

"Since implementing TrakCare at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, we have seen a plethora of benefits.

"Electronic Patient Records create the foundations for an integrated healthcare system, not only trust-wide, but across the region too.

"The way we deliver care is changing at a national level, with neighbouring health and social care providers expected to work closer than ever before. Implementing a system that all clinical professionals can access is the obvious solution.

"As we work towards creating Centres of Excellence, patients might not go to their local hospital for treatment every time. It is important that we all move towards using a universal patient management service and I’m delighted that we’ve taken a step towards that here at our trust."

The Teesside Trust is not only the first NHS Acute Trust in England to implement TrakCare, but is also an accredited Fast Follower within the NHS Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme.

The NHS Long Term Plan now describes even more digital ambitions for the NHS and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust says it is already well placed to make significant progress in this regard following recent digital investments and a cultural change within the workforce. It says its vision is to ensure secure, accurate and timely information at the point of patient care, every time

Digitising these records not only improves the legibility and accessibility to the record but by removing the paper chart this will create a yearly saving of approximately £20,000, money which can be put directly back into patient care.