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Herts and Worcs NHS delivers ePMA project in record time



Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has implemented the Better Meds electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) solution across the pilot ward in just ten weeks, despite an earlier, unrelated setback due to a major EPR and PAS outage. 

The implementation at the community and mental health trust took place between mid-March and May this year and is already helping to improve patient safety, enable more efficient workflows for clinicians and reduce paper.

Ian Douglas, EPMA Clinical Engagement Lead at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said: “The Better team took the time to understand our requirements and what we were trying to achieve at the trust.

“Having the Better team available when we needed them was incredibly reassuring.

“They’ve been a constant source of support, offering guidance and expertise whenever needed.

“What sets them apart is their commitment to transparency and open communication.”

The trust first opted to go live in a six-bed pilot ward providing specialised end-of-life care.

The approach allowed for rigorous testing of prescribing regimes and the software’s capabilities.

The project then extended to a 28-bed rehabilitation ward, focusing on different sets of requirements, for example, the ability to transcribe complex paper drug charts into the software.

As a result of the successful pilot, the trust has now decided to bring forward its implementation plan for all its seven community hospitals, with an ambition to be complete by October 2023.

The implementation has led to significant time savings, improved patient safety due to the complex nature of drug administration and prescribing, and reduced paper use across wards.

The solution also supports new models of care by enabling clinicians to log-in to the system remotely, discuss with an on-site nurse and make decisions on prescriptions and care plans.

This is helping to reduce the need for on-call GPs and consultants, freeing up clinicians’ time and ultimately providing faster, safer care for patients.

Fazila Tagari, Project Manager at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “Some nurses had been working using paper for 20-30 years and so it was a big change to a new system.

“We found that once they had seen how Better Meds works, they were very happy with it.”

Stefan Siekierski, Delivery Director at Better, added: “The rapid implementation at Herefordshire and Worcestershire is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the project team, ultimately leading to improved patient care and streamlined workflows.

“This is the tenth successful implementation of Better Meds, which is evidence of the strength of the solution and the effort at which our teams go to deliver for our customers.

“We believe in advancing the digital maturity of the sector to enhance patient care and experience and will look for opportunities to help other trusts at outreach events to benefit the broader healthcare community.”

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