Posted: Monday 8th May 2017
Wow, what a year. Last week we celebrated the first birthday of e-Care.
This time last year we were in the throes of implementing our new electronic patient record with all of us going above and beyond to keep our patients safe.
It seems strange now to look back on that time when for many of us it felt like our worlds had been turned upside down overnight. As usual we rose to the challenge and had a successful go live experience. So much so we are now seen as a leading Trust undertaking a large scale, innovative digital project. Indeed, we have since been awarded Global Digital Exemplar status as a result of this.
We have come a long way in our first year but we still have plenty to do. Many of you are working well with e-Care now and seeing some of the benefits that a single patient record can bring. However, I am also very aware that some staff are still experiencing issues and frustrations in using the new system. For secretaries in particular, this has been a very challenging year. I thank you for your patience while we continue to improve and fix problems.
We always knew this was a long-term journey - some of you will remember our own Matthew Porteous describing this as the birth of a new baby. Having Global Digital Exemplar status gives us exciting opportunities to nurture and grow our baby. In the next couple of weeks we will be implementing pathology OrderComms in inpatient areas. More improvements and upgrades will follow over the next few years, including adding new departments to the system, such as Paediatrics in October this year.
We will also be thinking about how technology can support our plans and ambitions around how we can create a single patient record across multiple health and social care organisations, how we might use “apps” to empower patients to take responsibility for their own health, how we might hold non urgent patient consultations by Skype … The opportunities are significant.
I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in the last year and excited by the opportunities that the future holds. I would like to personally thank all of you for getting us to where we are now.
In other news, we were chosen to host NHS England’s executive group meeting on 4 May, with health providers in the area invited to attend. We welcomed NHS England executives including Simon Stevens, chief executive, Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer, and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director.
It was a pleasure to host them and I was able to tell them about all the great work and high quality services you, our amazing staff, deliver. See my previous blog for a detailed overview. Some of you were part of a lively debate with Simon, Jane and Bruce, which covered many topics. I also showed Simon around the hospital, where he viewed our wonderful dementia friendly memory walk, and learned about our e-Care system and how it underpins our ambition to further improve our quality.
I told them proudly that while not perfect or complacent we are a great hospital doing great things for our patients and that we are working hard to maintain quality in tough and challenging times. Simon and the NHS England team appreciated this. It’s great that both Simon Stevens and Jeremy Hunt have both recognised what a great hospital we are and how much effort and commitment you put in. Well done everybody. The hard work does pay off. Thank you.