Trust achieves prestigious global standard

Newcastle Hospitals has joined an elite group after achieving an international standard for its use of electronic patient record technology to drive transformational change in all aspects of inpatient care.

The Trust, one of the largest in the UK, has been accredited to HIMSS Stage 6 across all its sites.

It becomes one of only eight NHS organisations to have achieved this level or higher. There are fewer than 100 sites across Europe to have secured the accolade.

Newcastle Hospitals was measured against the international standard for Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) by the international Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The model is made up of seven levels (0 progressing to 7) and each must be implemented and in use to progress.

Assessors told the Trust it had “clearly demonstrated its commitment to improving patient safety and the overall quality of clinical care through the effective use and deployment of Electronic Medical Record technology.”

They also highlighted the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm of all staff involved in the process and in demonstrating how they use the capabilities.

Graham King, Chief Information Officer, Newcastle Hospitals, said: “This is a huge achievement for the Trust and it is an absolute pleasure to be recognised for our leadership in digital transformation.

“A tremendous amount of hard work and effort has gone into achieving this across the Trust. This required collaboration across all areas of the organisation. This is richly deserved and sets an excellent platform to progress to the final level.”

Ellen Klaus, Senior Research Advisor, HIMSS, said: “I would like to congratulate the team at Newcastle Hospitals for achieving EMRAM Stage 6 validation. 

“It is an amazing achievement and a reflection of the Trust’s ongoing journey towards digital implementation ensuring continuous improvement in patient care and safety, and staff satisfaction.”

In a double dose of good news, the Trust has also been officially accredited as a Global Digital Exemplar for fulfilling its commitments as part of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme with NHS England.

A Global Digital Exemplar is an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering improvements in the quality of care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information.

Exemplars share their learning and experiences through the creation of blueprints to enable other trusts to follow in their footsteps as quickly and effectively as possible.

Trust chief executive Dame Jackie Daniel said: “I am delighted that Newcastle Hospitals has been accredited as a global leader for our use of digital technologies and information.

“Our digital teams include both clinical staff and technical experts and they have worked incredibly hard to bring the benefits of digital technology to our patients.

Patient care and safety is at the heart of everything we do and we are proud to be constantly continuing to improve.”

Dermot Ryan, director of frontline digitisation at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Newcastle Hospitals has made great strides in demonstrating how digital, data and technology can be harnessed to improve patient experience and care, and support staff to do their jobs, culminating in their GDE accreditation this month.

“Patients in Newcastle are feeling the difference on the ground, from being able to more easily access information and manage their own care through the trust’s patient portal, while the electronic patient record system is enabling better use of patient data for more effective, and safer, care.”

Some of the Trust’s key achievements include:

  • Upgrade to PAS improving the patient experience through a streamlined process
  • Electronic complex medication management to increase patient safety through guided clinical decision support
  • A patient self check-in trial
  • eObservations and electronic whiteboards to speed up the escalation of deteriorating patients
  • Digital support of seven day working standards
  • An enhanced electronic patient record which has substantially reduced reliance on paper records
  • Reduced risks to patient safety as outpatient ordering is placed against a patient’s electronic record
  • Digital access to the community record
  • A patient portal, enabling patients to take ownership of their own care
  • Leading on behalf of the region the Health Information Exchange as part of the Great North Care Record, allowing sharing of patient data for effective and better care and improved safety
  • Remote patient consultations, allowing patients to self-manage within a supportive framework
  • Closed loop medicines management, increasing safety and stock management
  • Closed loop blood to improve patient safety and reduce waste
  • Closed loop milk, ensuring the right milk is given to the right baby
  • HIMSS level 6 accreditation, fulfilling a commitment to NHS Digital to provide sufficient systems capability, improving patient safety and reducing mistakes in administering blood, medications and milk

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