Electronic discharge is highly topical at present as hospitals face increasing pressure to deliver timely and accurate discharge data and have had national contractual obligations placed on them to deliver discharge summaries within 48 hours by April 2009 and 24 hours by April 2010.
Recent indications from the NHS Alliance* are that large numbers of NHS trusts are still failing to meet the 24 hour requirement, with many also missing the 48 hour deadline. It is fitting then that the GHP/UKCPA IT Award winner should focus on a success story in this important area of patient care and clinical reporting.
Sharron Millen, Head of Clinical Pharmacy at SUHT advised; "The development of the eDischarge system has had significant benefits to the workflow within the pharmacy service. The system allows easy access to identify patients for discharge and removes the need for transport to the individual dispensaries."
"The pharmacy department has invested a large amount of time with technology partners Ascribe Ltd designing and developing the system to ensure the application met the needs of the pharmacy service and the Trust."
SUHT found that through the implementation of its eDischarge system the average length of time for a simple e-discharge was approximately 8-9 minutes.
Feedback from the ten GP surgeries currently receiving the eDischarge documents has been excellent with obvious benefits in the clarity and legibility of the prescription and promptness of delivery post patient discharge. The patient also receives a clear copy of the eDischarge document upon discharge which has been widely welcomed as a significant improvement on the handwritten carbonised paper copy in use previously.
* Discharge information 4th survey Jan 2010, NHS Alliance
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GHP exists to defend the interests of individual employed pharmacists working in hospitals, primary care and other healthcare institutions for both the NHS and commercial healthcare providers throughout the UK. In times of great change and challenge, membership of GHP provides the individual pharmacist with a powerful voice, locally, nationally and across the UK. Our three main strands of work are:
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