Paperless emergency department

As one of the largest integrated care providers in England, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust needed to address their paperless goals with a modern clinical IT solution for their emergency departments (ED) that would be integrated across their two hospital sites.

Using EMIS Health’s unscheduled care system - Symphony - Durham and Darlington can share clinical data and integrate care delivery between their hospital emergency departments and urgent care centres located around the district.

Manual processes - such as discharge letters - are now automated, saving time, reducing paper, and allowing clinicians to focus on patient care.

“We’ve dramatically reduced the amount of paper we’re producing, and storing”

Roy Westhead, project manager

Roy Westhead, project manager, commented: “We’ve dramatically reduced the amount of paper we’re producing, and storing. The system provides clinical staff with more accurate patient information more quickly – they no longer have to go and look for a paper record, it’s all there in the system, so they have the information they need at their fingertips.”

Integration with the trust’s patient administration system (PAS) provides Durham and Darlington with full demographic data sharing between the PAS and Symphony. They’ve also extended the use of Symphony into other areas - such as paediatrics and medical admissions unit (MAU) - which has made services faster between different centres around the trust. Patient safety is improved by having a full electronic clinical record that clinicians can access and update from any of the departments.

Symphony is also integrated with the trust’s order communications system, enabling real-time ordering of tests including radiology. The results of these tests can also be viewed inside Symphony, removing the need to log into a separate viewing application.

By integrating data through key clinical systems, staff at the trust can see the benefits that this gives them in order to improve their own working processes and providing better, safer care.

Roy commented: “Since Symphony went live, I’ve been inundated with requests from other departments all wanting access to the clinical data held in the electronic patient record database, as staff are seeing the benefits of the ability to produce accurate reports quick and efficiently.”