Providing better, safer, end-of-life care to patients with complex needs

Using EMIS Web to enable data sharing is helping the team at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care access a full picture of their patients’ medical histories, supporting informed and sensitive end of life care.

Phyllis Tuckwell covers West Surrey and part of North East Hampshire, caring for a range of patients with complex palliative needs. Their diverse patient list means they often have to work with other local practitioners including hospital-based clinicians, GPs and district nurses. Before switching to EMIS Web in July 2018, the team were using another electronic hospice system but found that it was becoming outdated, slow and clunky to use over time. “The old system wasn’t well-supported either,” explains Dr Cate Seton, the medical director at Phyllis Tuckwell. With EMIS Web, however, the team have access to a faster, more modern system and has unlocked data sharing capabilities that they didn’t have before, which has rapidly improved the care they provide.

“What difference has EMIS Web has made for us? The key one is information sharing.”

Dr Cate Seton, medical director, Phyllis Tuckwell

Dealing with complex patient needs

The complex nature of many of the cases that the team manage means that there’s often considerable GP involvement in their care. In many of the instances, Phyllis Tuckwell’s services are needed when the patient’s needs become too complicated for the GP to manage alone. Data sharing facilitates effective, two-way communication between GPs and the hospice care team so that both sides can view a patient’s medical history and up-to-date notes. Using EMIS Web communication between Phyllis Tuckwell and GPs has improved immensely, making it much easier to meet their needs and deliver safer, more sensitive care.

“EMIS Web facilitates very sensible two-way communication which makes it much easier to deal with complex patients with a heavy GP involvement.”

Dr Cate Seton, medical director, Phyllis Tuckwell

Previously, checking a patient’s GP notes before their appointment would have involved a lot of scanning, faxing and sorting through papers. Now that this information can be access digitally through EMIS Web the team is cutting back on paper usage and saving time for other essential tasks.

Making referrals clearer and easier

Being able to share data and access detailed patient information is also making the referral process instantaneous and more manageable for the practice. “Now that we get referral information digitally it saves a lot of time for our secretarial team as they no longer have to scan and fax pages and pages of information.” Receiving their referral information digitally using set templates, means that nothing is missed and the clinical nurses have all of the information they need without having to go back to the referring organisation for clarity. And because they can quickly access this information, everything they need to know is right at their fingertips.

“When our clinical nurses receive the referrals the information and clarity that’s needed is there at their fingertips.”

Dr Cate Seton, medical director, Phyllis Tuckwell

Supporting multidisciplinary team (MDT) working

“We often provide information and advice on patients who aren’t formally under our care,” explains Cate. For example, a district nurse may get in touch to ask for advice on a particular patient. The team can then record the advice that they’ve given out so that it’s quick and easy to recall in the future.

Being able to support other clinicians in this way is crucial to the team at Phyllis Tuckwell. The complex nature of many patient cases means that they often take a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach. Thanks to improved record sharing with EMIS Web the communication between all of the care teams has improved drastically. Now, all clinicians involved in a patient’s care can be kept up to date as soon as anything changes. Although there are some instances where they still opt to send letters – for example, if a patient dies on their ward – Cate is confident they’ll do this through EMIS Web in the future.

Always moving forward

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care is constantly striving to provide better care to their patients. With EMIS Web proving to be so helpful, Cate told us she could see EMIS Mobile fitting in with their Care at Home service in the future.

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