Electronic records scheme for Sheffield hospitals

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A new electronic patient record system has been given the go-ahead at Sheffield’s hospitals as part of efforts to cut down on paper documents.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has won Department of Health funding for the scheme, part of the organisation’s £35 million programme to transform its IT facilities.

Hospital chiefs say the new records system will allow all of a patient’s hospital and community health records to be available round the clock in one place. The ‘go live’ date is planned for the end of next year.

Dr Rhona Maclean, a consultant haematologist and one of the programme’s clinical leads, said: “We need to move into the digital age. We plan to be paper-light by 2018 and one of the first steps will be to convert case notes into electronic records as soon as possible to meet this target.”

Dr Maclean said cutting down on paper forms and records will improve security, while electronic prescribing will ‘reduce errors due to handwritten prescriptions’.

The trust’s medical director, Dr David Throssell, added: “We need to give clinicians all the information they need, at all times, at all locations.”