Health Technologies

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust roll out ePMA solution

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has deployed Altera Digital Health’s Sunrise electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) functionality trust-wide, including two hospitals and two emergency departments, accelerating the trust’s digital maturity.

MTW first went live with Altera Digital Health’s Sunrise EPR in September 2021, which laid the foundation of the trust’s 10-year digital transformation strategy.

The EPR has improved operational efficiency and patient outcomes, and has contributed to the trust ranking seventh out of 120 trusts nationally for its services to patients.

ePMA, the latest phase of transformation, is now live across the trust and embedded within the EPR.

This will improve patient safety by reducing medication errors and improve experiences for clinicians, with the EPR able to enhance their workflows and release time for patient care.

Mildred Johnson, Chief Pharmacist and Chair of EPMA Project Board, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said:

“The system is going to completely transform ways of working for our pharmacists, many of whom are working digitally for the first time.”

The new system will increase prescriber awareness when duplicate high-risk medicines are prescribed, starting with anti-coagulants, reducing medication errors and giving pharmacists extra assurance.

Johnson explained:

“We expect this to be especially valuable in busy periods, when medication errors can be more likely.

“The system has been set up for an alert to be generated when there is a high-level drug interaction during the prescribing process.”

The rollout was carefully conducted over just two weekends building on learnings from previous go-lives, as well as multiple trial runs before launch.

Programme Director for EPR and Digital Transformation at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Foundation Trust, Jane Saunders said:

“The success of the project was down to the thorough training, preparation and support put in place before and throughout the go-lives.

“The trial runs we conducted especially helped us to make better operational decisions and streamline the launch, causing minimal disruption to patient care.”

Eighty percent of nurses were trained before go-live, with training methods including videos, written guides, webinars and face-to-face sessions, so staff could select the best approach for them.

This ensured that little support was required by nursing staff from the pharmacy ambassadors and transcribing team who were superusers.

Johnson said:

“We’re seeing a major benefit to our on-call doctors and pharmacists, who are now able to prescribe remotely as they can access the system from anywhere.

“It means our clinical staff on wards are spending less time on the phone to get medication prescribed and can spend more time with patients.”

Reflecting on the go-live, Saunders said:

 “The fact we have been able to achieve such rapid and impactful transformation is testament to the collaboration between our team and Altera Digital Health.

“Our mission is to offer outstanding care and this latest go-live is helping us to achieve that.

“Our digital journey is underpinned by our EPR, and this is a major step.”

Dr Anna Bayes, International Medical Director, Altera Digital Health, added:

“The dedication from the team at MTW underpinned by robust clinical engagement has enabled the trust to take a significant step in its digital transformation whilst enhancing patient safety.”

MTW will now work towards piloting Electronic Discharge Notification (EDN) across four wards in the next month as well as rolling out ePMA in maternity later this year, with Paediatrics to follow in 2024.

The trust will also deploy the Sunrise Surgical Care solution alongside the Provation iPro anaesthetic record later in the year.



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