E-prescribing go-live at Somerset NHS FT goes ‘Better’ than expected

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Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with its e-prescribing and medications management solution from Better.

The trust, which was formed on 1 April 2020 when the Somerset Partnership and Taunton and Somerset NHS foundation trusts merged, is using OPENeP across its surgical services.

The move is part of the trust’s IT strategy, which is to integrate key systems using the Better openEHR platform and to add clinical functionality by using the Better Form Builder, vendors committed to an open ethos, and rapid in-house digital development with clinicians.

It has also supported the trust’s Covid-19 response and laid the foundations for a roll-out across the trust’s medicine directorate later this summer.

Andrew Forrest, the trust’s chief information officer, said: “We decided to pursue an open platform and portal based approach to developing an electronic patient record.

“This offered several advantages, such as allowing us to create a central record and clinical data repository that we can use to feed the best of suite clinical systems that we are adding according to our needs and resources.

“OPENeP is an important part of the mix, and it is great to see that the system is now live and delivering the benefits of closed loop electronic prescribing and medication management to our staff.”

The former Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust chose to pursue e-prescribing with OPENeP in 2018 as part of its global digital exemplar programme.

The OPENeP medication management application can be used as part of Better’s postmodern EHR strategy or deployed as a stand-alone product. It has been chosen by four NHS trusts since its first go-live at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust in summer 2019.

The next step for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust will be to deploy the system across its emergency department, medical admissions areas, and medical wards. This is planned to go live shortly as the trust remodels care pathways following its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Matt Cox, managing director of Better UK and Ireland, said: “Somerset’s rapid rollout of ePMA, with real pull from the clinicians and the nursing community, is a great endorsement of the way we have all worked together.

“It demonstrates that OPENeP, having been designed with clinicians for clinicians on an open architecture, is key to digitally transforming health and care services, even in the difficult circumstances that we face at the moment.”

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