I use EMIS EPR Viewer whenever I clerk a patient. When I use it I pay particular attention to medications and allergies. I also check a patient’s recent consultations to try and establish if their presenting complaint is acute or something that has previously been investigated by primary care.
I find that access to EMIS EPR Viewer saves a lot of time, particularly out of hours if patients are not certain which medications they are allergic to. I also find that it is useful for reviewing height and weight.
This has proven very valuable as a lot of our medications are height/weight dependent and instead of estimating doses they are now more accurate.
There are a number of good examples of situations where EMIS EPR Viewer has made a difference in treating a patient, including:
- A patient who had a cardiac valve replaced privately at another hospital. She presented to us with back pain with new neurological symptoms. We did not know if her valve was safe for MRI. Traditionally I would have had to wait to contact the secretary of the cardiology team at the other hospital (this could have taken considerable time as I was unsure which cardiologist operated on this patient) and wait for them to pull the patient’s notes and then to fax/telephone me. Instead, I logged on to EMIS EPR Viewer and found a letter from the hospital to the GP and discovered that it was safe for this patient to proceed to MRI.
- A patient was admitted with hyponatraemia (low sodium) and was very symptomatic – agitated and confused. She did not bring any of her regular medications with her. There was no clear cause for her quick deterioration (we knew that her sodium was ‘normal’ a month ago). I checked EMIS EPR Viewer and saw that she had recently been started on a new diuretic (water tablet) and it was highly likely that this was the cause. I stopped that medication and she made a good recovery.
- A patient presented to the Emergency Department with abdominal pain. She was very erratic and her story was constantly changing. I looked at EMIS EPR Viewer and saw that her symptoms were part of her ‘health anxiety’ and that she was known to our crisis team. After excluding acute pathology I was able to refer to crisis where she received suitable treatment instead of potential radiation exposure and invasive procedures.
Watch our case study video to see the difference it's making at Somerset.