Greater Glasgow: speedier treatment decisions

Clinicians caring for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people are able to make vital mental health treatment decisions more quickly – thanks to secure electronic record sharing.

Twenty-two child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) teams across Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) are using a bespoke version of EMIS Web that’s allowing them to securely share vital patient information within a single electronic record.

Programme lead at NHSGGC, Karen Lamb, said that record sharing had been “transformational” in allowing clinicians to make informed decisions more quickly. It’s also given clinicians the ability to conduct risk assessments based on a patient’s previous mental health history and direct treatment accordingly, she added.

“One such case involved a vulnerable young person with suicidal thoughts who was taken to A&E following an incident of self-harm,” she said. “The psychiatrist assessing the patient called on a member of the CAMHS inpatient team, who was able to access the notes from EMIS Web.

“The psychiatrist was able to ascertain that her risk of suicide was low but her risk of self-harm was very high. They were able to ensure that she was discharged to a suitable environment to ensure her safety.”

Real-time information sharing via EMIS Web has additionally helped to speed up processes. Not only are clinicians saving around two hours a month through reduced paperwork, but colleagues in different areas and teams are able to instantly communicate with each other too.

Electronic records are also helping NHSGGC to assess how effective their care and treatment has been. Data recorded in EMIS Web is read-coded, which allows if to be used for analysis – like Child Outcome Research Consortium (CORC) assessments. CORC focuses on patients, and results have shown that there’s been a significant improvement in the wellbeing and mental health of the young patients across the NHSGGC. By being able to analyse their data, CORC and EMIS Web have given Greater Glasgow and Clyde the ability to see exactly how CAMHS are improving patient outcomes. 

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