Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 07-08-2017

Electronic prescribing represents another step forward for Digital Strategy

by LC

Government’s Digital Strategy is progressing the purchase of a new electronic prescribing system for inpatients at Noble’s Hospital, Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital and the Mental Health Service.

The new system – developed in association with a UK-based specialist – is expected to go live next year and will mean an end to paper-based prescribing for inpatients.  Initially, computers at the bedside will be used before moving to tablets and other mobile devices in the future.  

It will mean that medical staff will be able to access information on a patient’s medication history far more quickly than through the current system.  Electronic prescribing has also been shown to help medical teams by supporting and refining their decisions around which treatments to prescribe and at which dosage.

In addition, nursing teams will administer medicines to patients by referring to the electronic ward chart and making a record that a medicine has been taken will be done on-screen.  The risk of misinterpreting a prescriber’s intention will be reduced, and the process made more efficient.

Hospital pharmacists will still be able to review requests before any medicine is administered to a patient, but this will be done using computers, either on the ward or from the pharmacy.  In addition, ordering of medicines for ward stock or individual patients will be faster.

Speaking after the signing of the contact with the selected provider, Noble’s Hospital’s Chief Pharmacist, Alan Pearson, commented:

“Electronic prescribing is another important stage in the overall digital technology transformation of Noble’s Hospital and the wider health service. There is strong evidence from other health authorities that digital prescribing saves both time and money. What is more, it promotes even greater patient safety with its real-time support and guidance for prescribers.”

Richard Wild, Executive Director of Government Technology Services, noted that electronic prescribing was proof of the ongoing commitment to digital transformation for the Department of Health and Social Care as well as all other Government departments. He said:

“This news follows on from the recent announcement of both the launch of electronic test results at Noble’s Hospital and the start of the move towards fully digital patient health records.  The delivery of our Digital Strategy and the benefits it brings is becoming evident and making a real difference to so many of the Island’s services and – more importantly – the people who use them.”

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