COUNTY Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has invested
in a new paperless IT system at its A&E departments at
University Hospital North Durham (UHND) and Darlington Memorial
The new system replaces two different ones which were
previously installed at the hospitals, both of which were out dated
and required replacing.
Roy Westhead, Project Manager at the Trust, said: "We
wanted a single IT solution across the Trust to make it easier for
staff moving between the two sites and also for sharing data, so if
a patient is seen one week at the A&E department and then
returns, staff have quick and easy access to those notes.
"We've made a significant investment in the new system. We
needed something that was fully integrated and allowed staff to
keep a more up-to-date record of who was in the A&E department,
how long they had been waiting and what they were waiting for. The
new system provides information in real time, on a large screen for
staff to view, so the flow of patients is managed much more
The system, provided by Ascribe, went live at both
hospitals in April. It is integrated with the hospitals' admissions
systems removing the requirement for patients' details to be
inputted twice, and is also used to automatically generate letters
to GPs about treatment given at A&E.
"It's dramatically reduced the amount of paper we're
producing, and storing" Roy added. "It also provides clinical staff
with more accurate patient information more quickly - they no
longer have to go and look for a paper record, it's all there in
the system, so they have the information they need at their finger
The hospitals have been working hard to ensure migration
to the new system has gone smoothly, with the system being well
received by staff.
Sister Sara Dunn, A&E at Darlington Memorial Hospital,
said: "The new system has been particularly beneficial in helping
us monitor the location and status of all patients in a very busy
Chris Burdess, A&E Consultant in Emergency Medicine at
UHND, said: "The ability to accurately record, and immediately
access vital clinical information is helping us to improve the
service we offer patients."
Stephen Critchlow, CEO of Ascribe, commented: "Ascribe is
delighted that the final stage of this project is now live. We look
forward to continuing our relationship with Durham and Darlington
on future projects."
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one
of the largest integrated care providers in England, serving a
population of around 600,000 people across County Durham,
Darlington, North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and South
Tyneside. The Trust brings together hospital, community
services and health and wellbeing services to provide high quality
and seamless care for patients.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community