Published on Tuesday 27 June 2017
Blood cancer patients are receiving the very best care at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) supported by pioneering technology which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Patient safety is the top priority for WUTH and has been the main focus of its work with Cerner UK. The latest technology is also in line with the NHS national requirement to digitise work around oncology treatment.
This innovative IT system, Powerchart Oncology which is developed by Cerner, offers greater support when planning chemotherapy for blood cancer patients.
It offers the Trust complete control over prescribing, clinical documentation, pharmacy verification, administration and discharge of haematology patients. WUTH is the first Trust in the UK to use Cerner Oncology technology to help improve the care provided to its patients.
Powerchart Oncology enhances patient safety by providing an automatic calculation of the medication dosage. It also enhances the clinical checks carried out before chemotherapy is administered and adds extra assurance by ensuring certain tasks can only carried out by colleagues trained in those areas. The resulting digital patient record can be monitored by all members of their care team.
Barbara Hammer, Consultant Haematologist at WUTH, said: ‘’The whole chemotherapy prescribing process is now much more efficient as the system captures the entire chemotherapy process from prescribing, pharmacy checking and administration by our nurses. It also includes electronic scheduling of all appointments and the automatic generation of clinic letters to the patients General Practitioner which contain all the required information to enable optimal integrated care as GPs are now always fully informed about all aspects of their patients’ chemotherapy treatment.
“Relevant blood results, chemotherapy related side effects, changes in patients’ weight and any previous chemotherapy dose changes are clearly visible to everybody involved in the chemotherapy process. Abnormal results which require chemotherapy dose changes are always flagged up and all chemotherapy doses are calculated electronically which reduces human error through the use of a strictly automated process.
“The system also includes electronic referrals for counselling appointments with our clinical nurse specialists, procedures such as bone marrow examinations and for weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings during which patients’ results are discussed and treatments are planned. Some of these referrals are even generated automatically at the end of the chemotherapy course. Prior to the implementation of Powerchart Oncology all these referrals were done on paper which was much more time consuming and a lot less organised.
“We started using Powerchart Oncology at the beginning of February 2017, building and testing period and the whole chemotherapy process has already been transformed in a very positive way. We are expecting further improvements in the future as we are continuously evaluating and developing the system.’’
WUTH and Cerner have now been working together for almost nine years to improve patient care on Wirral. As well as using Cerner’s portfolio of Millennium products across the whole organisation, the Hospital has been a regular ‘first of its kind’ partner for Cerner with the adoption of many new technologies including Cerner’s Population Health platform.
Geoff Segal, General Manager, Cerner UK, said: “As with all successful projects, the Wirral oncology digital project was a combined effort that brought together the best of WUTH and Cerner. The joint expertise to deliver the best workflow came together and really showed what good partnership is all about.
We believe that better patient outcomes start with us and having worked with WUTH for almost nine years, it is clear that we share the same values. It is very exciting to have such a great partner to jointly bring innovations to the UK market with the express goals of benefiting patients and clinicians alike.”
As a Global Digital Exemplar the Trust is building on its extensive electronic records platform and is working to become fully digital over the next two years, and, along with its partner health and social care organisations on the Wirral, it will be to developing the Population Health suite of products to enable the delivery on New Care Models for the local Wirral population.
Photo caption: Registered Staff Nurse, Kerry Buckley and Deputy Ward Sister, Zara-Kate Delamere are just two of the staff making use of the technology on the Haematology Ward.
About Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:
Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) is not only the largest employer in Wirral but is also one of the largest and busiest acute Trusts in the North West of England. Providing a comprehensive range of high quality acute care services, the Trust has a workforce of around 5,800 staff. It serves a population of approximately 400,000 people across Wirral, Ellesmere Port, Neston, North Wales and the wider North West footprint.
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