Nearly £16 million will be shared between 16 hospitals across England to introduce electronic prescriptions, replacing outdated paper prescriptions and reducing errors and improving patient safety.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS is implementing its commitment to eliminate paper prescribing and introducing digital prescribing by 2024. More healthcare staff and patients across 16 trusts will benefit from the new technology.
Staff time will be saved and patient safety improved as healthcare workers will have more time to spend on patients. The electronic records will be complete and will be able to be accessed by professionals across the NHS. Hand-written notes and paper medicine charts will be eliminated, providing staff with life-saving patient history, prescriptions and other information quickly and accurately, all in one central data base.
30% of medication errors can be reduced, as old paper systems will be removed, time and money will be saved in the long run by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy. The investment into these new systems will also increase overall NHS productivity.
Minister for Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries said: “We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. The introduction of digital prescribing systems has helped us reduce potentially deadly medication errors and save our hard-working staff valuable time, enabling them to dedicate their full attention and care to patients
“As we enter what is set to be a challenging winter, the best way we can continue to protect patients and staff is if we all work together and continue to follow the national restrictions to suppress the virus.”
The £16 million forms part of the Long Term Plans investment of £78 million to transform prescribing methods from paper to digital in hospitals completely by 2024.
Dr Paul Curley, Deputy Medical Director and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which received £1.6 million in 2018, said: “At The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust we successfully implemented eMeds, our ePMA system. eMeds has revolutionised prescribing and improved medicines safety across the trust, and a number of benefits have been realised including high staff satisfaction levels, greater visibility of prescriptions and reduced prescribing errors.
“We deployed eMeds at significant pace across 3 hospital sites in 10 months, against a planned implementation period of 24 months. We believe that our ePMA project has been one of our most successful implementations and was driven by the objective of clinical improvement. It was completed only months before the COVID-19 pandemic and so was hugely beneficial for our overall response.”