Medway Hospital seeks big savings as software connects it to NHS spine

New software will give NHS staff at Medway NHS Foundation Trust real-time access to the NHS’s Personal Demographic Service (PDS), it has been announced.

Quicksilva’s orQestra ITK Spine Mini Service will enable staff to share patient information between departments more effectively and ensure that all of the data held is accurate and correlates with PDS.

Medway Maritime Hospital treats around 1,800 patients every day, around 275 of which need care from the emergency department and 200 are admitted for hospital care and treatment.

Many systems within the Medway NHS Foundation Trust are unable to connect to the current Patient Administration System (PAS), and as a result leave the Clinical Services, whose systems are not interfaced with PAS, with the responsibility of maintaining the data quality of patient demographics whilst performing a front-line service delivery.

In practice, the demands of delivering services outweighs the efforts needed to clean and maintain patient demographic data and means that opportunities to improve data quality suffer.

Batch tracing and manual comparison of data sets is very time consuming and subject to human error. These methods can result in activity being reported against different patient demographic details, and sometimes GP details, and this contravenes rulings by the NHS commissioning body which state that all demographic and GP details held by NHS organisations must be in line with PDS.

The Trust recognised that poor quality data was putting it at risk of substantial financial penalties, because where data is incorrect the central commissioning body cannot reimburse for patient treatments.

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Staff at the Trust have already begun connecting up its radiology and audiology information management systems, the databases responsible for overall management of the departments, from booking X-ray appointments to managing beds.

Next, the Trust plans to rollout the system across more units over the course of 2014 in order to introduce better data quality across every hospital department.

By connecting the audiology and radiology systems to the NHS Spine via orQestra, staff can get the information they need for any patient that comes in, no matter where they live, and can also ensure that they are compensated for patient treatment.

“Access to accurate patient records is vital for us, if the wrong information goes against a patient such as an incorrect NHS number it can lead to financial penalties for us,” said Brian Hughes, business intelligence manager at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

“When orQestra goes live it will give our staff access to the accurate patient demographics they need in order to provide patients with the very best care, and allow us to access electronic records for patients who live outside our catchment area for our specialist services.

“orQestra will allow us to stop relying on manually obtained patient information, and enable our clinical staff to spend less time on administrative tasks which are prone to error and concentrate on the quality of service delivered to patients.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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