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South East Coast Ambulance Service deploys EPR on iPads

The South East Coast Ambulance Service has implemented the Evolve electronic patient record (EPR) system from Kainos to let staff look up and enter patient data while attending emergencies

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with the Kainos Evolve electronic patient record (EPR) system. 

The system runs on iPads and lets ambulance staff enter and look up patient information while at the scene of an emergency. By the time the patient arrives in hospital, clinicians there already have the information at hand.

The trust hopes that having up-to-date information available instantly will improve efficiency and patient care.

Steve Topley, clinical lead at the trust, said that an electronic record means there is “never any need to waste time trying to decipher cryptic handwriting”.

He added: “Providing a hospital with a seamless handover of accurate electronic incident notes makes it quicker and easier for them to provide rapid, focused care. It saves precious time and greatly improves outcomes for patients.”

Having patient details available right away also means that the review and audit process will improve. Previously it took up to six weeks to scan, review and distribute information on paper.

Online and offline

The EPR system works both online and offline, so clinicians can enter information anywhere. When the iPad is online, it automatically updates.

Mark Chivers, the trust’s head of IT, said the iPad is also used for messaging and browsing the web.

“Additionally, it allows the trust to benefit from the inherent security benefits of iOS, so data remains safe wherever our staff need to be,” he said.

The EPR comes with a data analysis function, which could help the trust improve services in the future.

Read more about electronic patient records

NHS trusts across the country are making strides in digitising their records. NHS England has instructed all trusts that they must have inteoperable electronic patient records at the point of care by 2020. 

According to NHS England’s digital maturity self-assessments, published in April this year, the ambulance service scores 85% on its readiness to deliver a paper-free NHS, but only 40% on its current capabilities. However, with the new EPR in place, this figure is likely to increase. 

Read more on Healthcare and NHS IT

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