Joined up IT links health visitors and GPs in Cheshire

The first ever deployment of EMIS Web into a child health setting has delivered significant time savings for health visitors and GPs in West Cheshire.

It's also improved the co-ordination of the care of children in the area, potentially saving lives.

Moving from a paper-based system to an electronic system has dramatically reduced the time it takes health visitors to access immunisation records and other vital health information.  In the past, this had taken as long as six hours and it can now be done in minutes.

Telephone calls between GPs and health visitors to establish the latest information on a child’s medical record have reduced by as much as 80 per cent.

Another benefit for both health visitors and GPs is 24/7 access to shared patient records for children. Previously, this information could only be accessed via telephone calls that had to take place within normal working hours, Monday to Friday.

Paul Blade, performance and redesign, clinical system support manager, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The implementation of EMIS Web has made a real difference to the working lives of health visitors and GPs across West Cheshire."

“They can now devote far more time to the needs of the children and young people in their care, with essential tasks that used to take many hours now completed within a matter of minutes.”

Paul Blade, performance and redesign, clinical system support manager

“Health visitors play a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of many of the most vulnerable members of society. Timely access to vital information is a critical benefit in child care and protection and this innovation has helped to put that in the hands of health visitors across West Cheshire.”

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership introduced EMIS Web to 36 West Cheshire CCG GP surgeries in August 2015, when 40,000 child health records spanning 25 years were successfully migrated from a legacy system.

It means that health visitors can now directly access and update childrens’ GP records using EMIS Web – providing them with much easier access than before to information that they need to gather before every child consultation.

In addition, the system enables GPs to quickly and easily review notes taken by health visitors during visits to children in the community, leading to quicker response times, with no loss of data transfer.

The time saved means provides health visitors and GPs with more time to care for patients. Other benefits include the automatic insertion of patient invite letters into records held by EMIS Web, and a reduction in duplicated administration relating to new birth records.

Matt Murphy said: “Health visitors play a critical role in the care of children in their early years and the timely sharing of information can improve care and potentially save lives through spotting issues earlier. EMIS Health is delighted to have been able to support Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in taking pioneering steps for the benefit of children across West Cheshire.”

Find out more about how working with EMIS Health can make a real difference in a child health setting.