Tees Valley Condition Management Programme (CMP) has implemented a new electronic patient record (EPR) system based on AxSys Technology’s Excelicare solution. The EPR, which replaces a manual system, has been designed to support all aspects of patient administration and medical management. Implementation of the Excelicare solution has enabled the department to improve efficiency and confidentiality as well as reduce the room for errors inherent to a manual system.
Tees Valley CMP forms part of central Government’s incapacity benefit reform ‘Pathways to Work’. It is a partnership arrangement between Tees Valley Jobcentre Plus district and five NHS organisations: NHS Darlington, NHS Hartlepool, NHS Middlesbrough, NHS Redcar and Cleveland and NHS Stockton-on-Tees. CMP provides individualised support to people claiming incapacity benefit (IB) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who consider their health condition to be one of the barriers preventing them from returning to work. Referral to the programme is routed via an advisor at the Jobcentre into Tees Valley CMP.
Since going live in May 2010, the EPR supports Tees Valley CMP to manage patients’ pathway: from referral to discharge, including clinical assessments and scoring. Used by 19 remote workers, including administrative and management staff, nurses, occupational therapists and health psychologists operating at 12 localities, the new web-based system ensures that information is delivered to the right people, at the right time and at the right location.
Jayne Robson, Associate Director, Tees Valley CMP commented: “We had just started to develop a solution in-house when we found out that AxSys had done a similar solution for CMP in Scotland. Excelicare was exactly what we were looking for. It was easily adaptable to our work processes and it was deployed in less than three months. We were also very impressed by AxSys, who demonstrated a great understanding of the demands and challenges we are facing.”
Prior to the implementation of the EPR, administrative staff had to use a complex manual paper-based system to manage diaries for appointments at various locations, numerous staff and produce letters and other admin tasks. This resulted in occasional errors, where staff or letters were not sent to the right location. By using the EPR, not only has the department become far more efficient but patients’ confidentiality has also greatly improved. The new system meets the standards for handling sensitive data and means that records can now easily be accessed at a click of a button, from any location.
The system has also made the life of clinical staff a lot easier as they can now remotely access diaries to see where their appointments are taking place. Other benefits include greater standardisation, better patient management and increased efficiency. Clinical staff can easily access full assessment forms and referral letters, whilst scoring tools enable the system to highlight patients with specific issues. All the resulting information is then recorded onto the system. With 1,600 referrals per year, about 200 patients have been added to the system since it went live.
The use of the EPR has had a huge impact on the task of the management team. Not only does the system help them to manage demand and allocate staff and resources to the adequate location, it also allows them to monitor the number of customers referred to the programme and ensures that they are seen within the three weeks target set by the Government. By allowing service analysis and outcomes to be measured more accurately, the system makes it easier to identify and promote best practice. It also enables Tees Valley CMP to produce monthly mandatory information management report at a touch of a button. Prior to the implementation of the EPR system, it took managers up to a week to compile such reports.
Dr Pradeep Ramayya, CEO, AxSys Technology concluded: “At a time when unemployment has dramatically risen, we are pleased that our solution can demonstrate improvements in the efficiency of an organisation helping to get people back into work. We hope that this will serve as a model for other CMPs across the country to show how the use of technology can deliver a more efficient, leaner service.”