Praise for pioneering NHS Borders

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NHS Borders new patient management system, designed to provide healthcare staff with a detailed medical history of their patients, was launched last month.

Work began on the scheme in January 2008 when NHS Borders joined together with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Ayrshire and NHs Grampian to procure a new patient management system for Scotland.

The system stores information electronically so that it is available to staff whenever they need it.

It stores a full record for patients attending hospital from referral or unscheduled admission through their inpatient and outpatient care and eventual discharge and allows the information to be shared securely across the staff providing patient care and with GPs, which will improve communication.

NHS Borders was the first consortium to go live and Dr Ross Cameron, medical director, who chaired the project board implementing the programme in the region, said: “Our staff worked very hard to put everything in place in time for the go live date. In total some 60 plus people worked with us to deliver it on time. Each and every one played an important role in making this possible.”

“Local experts from within NHS Borders, predominantly IM&T but also clinical and support staff and operational services were drafted in to the programme.

“Staff from InterSystems who supplied the system, the consortium boards and the Scottish Government eHealth directorate have also provided expert support and this assistance has been critical to the success of the programme. We are grateful to all these people for their hard work and support.”

“This is a significant achievement for NHS Borders of which everyone involved can be proud of.

“The unexpected snow wasn’t factored in to our plans when we set the go live date. Staff struggled to get to work and home again but they still managed to hit the deadlines. All the hard work put in beforehand has paid off and patients and staff will now see the benefits.”

NHS Borders pionering new way of sharing data has won praise Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, who said the system should be a great benefit to healthcare staff and the people they’re treating.

She commented: “NHS Borders are the first to go live with this new patient management system that’s capable of being implemented anywhere in Scotland.

“Until now health boards have had different systems in place, even within the same board.

“Ensuring boards are able to use the same system will make it easier for information to be shared securely when a patient is being treated by more than one health board.

“The new system benefits patients and staff by providing better management of bookings and appointments, faster treatment decisions, faster test results, better information sharing, and freeing up staff to carry out more direct patient care.

“This represents a major advance towards a Scotland-wide patient management system with huge advantages to the delivery of patient care.”