Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability rolls out PatientSource EPR

The independent medical charity in London says the system has reduced incidents of prescription error since it was introduced in April.
By Tammy Lovell
05:00 AM

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN), an independent charitable institution in London, has introduced a bespoke electronic patient record (EPR) system created by PatientSource throughout all its wards.

In April, RHN initially implemented PatientSource’s e-prescribing solution in four wards. This system replaces drug cards charts by checking prescribed drugs against known patient allergies, checking for drug-drug interactions and indicating the appropriate dose, route and frequency of administration.

Following this successful pilot, the EPR was rolled out throughout the rest of the hospital and went live in July.

The system’s functionality has been tailored to meet the specific needs of the RHN and includes e-observation, which emulates the paper observation chart that medical staff traditionally used to check patients’ vitals. This allows information to be automatically harvested from bedside monitors and alerts medical staff to any concerns.

WHY IT MATTERS

The new EPR is helping the hospital toward its aim of achieving “a high level of reporting but a low level of incidents,” said RHN Medical Director Michael Marrinan.

Since introducing the e-prescribing module, RHN has already reported a fall in prescription errors from six in April 2018 to just one in April 2019.

“Our patients have complex needs, and many are on significantly more medications than your average hospital patient. Our staff have between 30,000-40,000 drug interactions a month, and while our incidence of drug errors was very low, any incident is one too many,” Marrinan said.

THE LARGER TREND

RHN was “behind the curve” compared with NHS hospitals because it is a charitable organisation, Marrinan said.

“That has left us in an unusual position in that we didn’t have an EPR – we are in a naive position from a technology point of view,” he explained.

Earlier this month, NHSX and NHS England released a list of eight accredited EPR suppliers to ensure purchasers get the “best value for money.”

ON THE RECORD

Toby Roberts, associate director of information and technology at the RHN, said: “PatientSource was a less risky option than procuring a big-name solution and it didn’t require any extra specialist hardware or apps - all it requires is a web browser, which means that it also doesn’t add to our existing resource costs.”

Dr Michael Brooks, chief medical officer and co-founder of PatientSource, said: “PatientSource was founded as a direct result of the errors that I was seeing as a practising doctor that were caused by paper-based processes and so it is great that another organisation is now able to provide safer and more efficient care as a result of our technology.”