Electronic records enable safer hospital care for Ayrshire patients

29 Mar 2017

A multidisciplinary team is giving safer, more efficient care to vulnerable patients in an Ayrshire hospital, with the help of EMIS Health technology.

More than 50 staff – including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists – have switched from paper records to EMIS Web.

It has helped transform patient care, and connected hospital and community staff, who can securely view each other’s records. Just six months down the line, they have reduced the average length of stay by 12 days and cared for 30% more patients.

The aim of the ward, which treats up to 300 frail patients a year is to support earlier discharge, while freeing up acute beds for those who need them. It admits hospital patients who need further care before going home, and this year it will also take people in the community who need non-acute care outside the home.

More streamlined care 

Dr Colin Jamieson was on the team of GPs providing medical cover when the ward first opened. He said: “Moving from paper to electronic records on the ward was a real eye-opener. The process of arranging referrals and transfers of patients is a lot more streamlined, and EMIS Web has helped improve care on the ward.” 

“EMIS Web is a vital cog in the wheel here.”

Ailsa McCallum, charge nurse

Charge nurse Ailsa McCallum said: “Any member of the team can add their notes to the electronic record, and everybody in the team can see them. Nursing assistants, who are the backbone of the ward, are contributing to the records for the first time.

Providing safer care and saving time

“We can see the community team’s records, and they can see ours. Because you can see real-time information in one place, care is safer. We can spot immediately if a patient’s condition is deteriorating. 

“We are saving time, as there is no more trawling through pages of paper records.”

Ailsa McCallum, charge nurse

The next step on the ward will be secure record sharing with 18 local GP practices – subject to robust data sharing agreements – which will allow them to see the patient’s complete medical history to enable even more informed care.  

Reviewing patient health with all the details to hand at Ayrshire Hospital