Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon launches the Patient Management System

NHS computer system

29/03/2010

A new £44 million IT system which will pave the way for a paper-free NHS was today launched.

The Patient Management System (PMS) will be used to streamline in-patient and out-patient bookings, manage waiting lists, order tests and report test results.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that PMS is the first system that can be used in any hospital in the NHS and will replace paper processes, improving security and freeing up time for staff to spend on other vital tasks.

It will enable staff to keep track of patient records much more easily and allow information to be communicated back to GPs.

Until now, health boards have had different patient management systems in place. Ensuring they are all using the same one will make it easier for information to be shared securely when a patient is being treated by more than one health board.

So far, six NHS boards across Scotland have signed up to the system, covering 70 per cent of Scotland’s population, with the rest set to join in the coming months.

The system was launched with a visit to Monklands Hospital in Airdrie to see how a trial of the new programme has benefited patients and staff in the renal ward.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“This is a major step towards a paper-free NHS.

“This new system will be much more efficient, faster and more secure than outdated paper-based systems. It also frees up money to be spent on front-line services and is better for environment.

“Benefits for patients and staff include improved security, faster test results, staff being able to share information more quickly, and having staff freed up to carry out other tasks.

“It will also reduce the number of times patients have to give repeat information, which I know can be incredibly frustrating.

“Communicating with patients is one of the areas that I am absolutely determined the NHS will improve on and this new system will help us achieve this.

“This is just one of a range of steps we are taking to put the quality of care patients receive at the heart of everything the NHS does.”

Dr Jamie Traynor, consultant in renal medicine at Monklands Hospital, said:

“This Patient Management System is, to me, the first major leap towards a hospital-wide electronic patient record with huge advantages in the delivery of patient care.

“As well as the many efficiency benefits, patients will benefit directly as the staff looking after them will be able to make treatment decisions based on real-time access to up-to-date information such as blood results and medicines.

“It is also worth stressing that there will be a level of security built into this system that will exceed what we are able to achieve with paper records.”

The TrackCare™ connected healthcare information system, developed by InterSystems Corporation, will be implemented as the Patient Management System by health boards in Ayrshire & Arran, Borders, Grampian, Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Lanarkshire, NHS Lothian has already implemented the programme.

The framework contract enabling all Scottish health boards to sign individual contracts from this solution was signed earlier this year. Representatives from the consortium health boards above who led the procurement programme today signed contracts against it to the value of £44 million.

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