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Visitors from New Zealand find out more about the benefits of the electronic patient record

24 September 2019

Health professionals from the Auckland District Health Board in New Zealand visited University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) to find out more about the Trust’s Lorenzo Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

The health board has 11,000 health and medical staff and looks after one of the country’s largest public hospitals Auckland City Hospital, as well as Starship Children’s Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre. It is looking to implement a faster and more reliable electronic patient record system and was invited to the Trust to see the Lorenzo EPR in action.

The Trust’s Health Informatics team and clinical staff gave visitors a tour of the emergency department and theatres at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary before they enjoyed a presentation on how the EPR has transformed care at UHMBT.

The Trust launched Lorenzo EPR – a quicker and more reliable electronic patient record in April 2018, which has transformed the way the Trust’s hospitals work, providing care that is paperless from the point a patient enters the hospital via the emergency department or outpatient clinic until they are discharged home via an electronic discharge letter.

The Trust has seen benefits in the following areas:

  • The Trust’s diabetes outpatient department is 100% paperlite with other services close to this target improving the Trust’s carbon footprint
  • More than 80% of outpatient clinics do not need paper notes improving patient care and experience. The EPR flags safeguarding needs for patients who are frequent fallers or have had infections and staff can access a patient’s history meaning they don’t have to ask for the same information twice
  • Over 500 GP records are accessed per day via Lorenzo EPR resulting in better-connected care for patients
  • Thanks to a series of dashboards, theatre staff across all three main hospitals can view the progress of a theatre session, manage patient lists, allocate teams for specific procedures and identify potential delays in schedules. This gives staff a single platform to carry out theatre check-in, manage anaesthesia and operation details, patient information in recovery and handover to the wards
  • There is now greater flexibility for midwives working in the community who can access the latest information relating to a woman’s care remotely through laptops. Midwives are saving travel time as they no longer have to come back to base to enter handwritten notes into the electronic system.

The EPR is also better connected to primary care, social services, the integrated care system (Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria) and the national system giving staff in our hospitals a better picture of a patient’s medical history and care to date ensuring better patient care, safety and experience.

Shayne Tong, Chief Digital Officer for Auckland District Health Board, thanked Morecambe Bay for being very generous with their time and expertise and that the Auckland team had learned a lot from the visit which would help to inform their planning choices.

Colin Brown, Chief Clinical Information Officer, UHMBT, added: “The EPR has revolutionised the way staff at UHMBT are working and has strengthened the way we work with colleagues in the community. We have seen some tangible benefits since introducing the EPR which have helped to give our patients a better experience of our hospitals.”

Andy Wicks, Chief Information Officer, UHMBT, said: “We were delighted when the Auckland District Health Board expressed an interest in coming to the Trust to find out more about the work we have been doing around the Lorenzo EPR. We hope that by sharing valuable knowledge and experience with the health board that it will aid the growth of the Auckland healthcare IT system.”