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Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh drives clinical transformation with a strong EPR

Before choosing Allscripts Sunrise Acute Care as its core electronic patient record (EPR), Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) faced several difficult issues with a predominantly paper-based system.

“Our health IT challenges were interdependent and very complex,” Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr Martin Farrier said. Handwritten notes were difficult to read and WWL accumulated physical paper documents at an exponential rate. In addition, clinicians had trouble accessing the data within these notes.

“Our data was poor, the systems collecting data were poor, and we had this huge influx of knowledge – test results, other online databases, genetic information – that clinicians were trying to assimilate and interpret,” Farrier said. “All the problems were coming together at the same time, and we couldn’t just carry on doing this with paper. The future could not look like the past.”

“How do you generate the greatest clinical benefit from the least time and money? PAS replacement would have been a lot of work and a lot of risk, with no clinical benefits…Allscripts Sunrise gave us obvious clinical benefits.”

Achieving Clinical Benefits at a Lower Risk

WWL wasn’t just searching for a new EPR it also had to replace a system that it had used for a decade. The technology did not have noting capabilities and served more as a repository for letters and results. The organisation also had an existing patient administration system (PAS) that was serviceable and stable.

WWL knew that Allscripts Sunrise had a proven track record in other NHS Trusts, and Farrier recalled: “The fact that Allscripts Sunrise was thriving in other places was very reassuring.”

WWL opted to leave their existing PAS in place and pursue a clinical wrap strategy—a robust Allscripts Sunrise clinical platform would integrate with existing clinical and financial systems. The organisation went live with a big-bang approach. In June of 2016, WWL launched Allscripts Sunrise at the same time across five sites: Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wrightington Hospital, Leigh Infirmary, Thomas Linacre Centre and Boston House.

Solving Challenges for Clinicians

The Allscripts Sunrise Acute Care platform provided a robust clinical system, with capabilities such as clinical documentation, order communications and electronic patient medication administration (EPMA).

WWL conducts periodic feedback sessions with clinical users to help ensure that Sunrise Acute Care evolves to meet their needs. However, based on some of WWL’s implementation experiences, Farrier advised that it’s important to maintain simplicity and rely on proven, standard content.

Focused on the Future

Beyond its continued efforts to remove paper-based systems, WWL expects to build more connections to share data with other organisations and GPs. “We want to share with other hospitals and GPs, inside and outside of our locality, as well as helping patients access their own records,” Farrier said.

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