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‘Switch-on’ for revolutionary new patient record system at CUH

26 October 2014
A new patient record system to improve patient care at Cambridge University Hospitals has been switched on.

eHospital went live across the Trust this morning at 02:00. The new system will improve the quality of care for patients by ensuring that doctors, nurses and other clinical staff can access relevant patient information wherever they are, at the click of a button and on bespoke software that has been designed by and for clinicians.  

Chief Information Officer and renal consultant doctor Dr. Afzal Chaudhry said:

“We’re delighted that this revolutionary new system has now gone live. It is the biggest single investment the Trust has ever made in the quality of patient care, and will make a real difference for everyone who comes into the Trust. 

eHospital will mean, for example, that instead of having to wait for paper records to be delivered to the ward, nurses are able to bring up patient notes on their handheld devices. Patients will get their medication quicker, nurses can spend more time with their patients and people who are treated here will get home sooner.

Afzal added: “Our aim was to create modern electronic system across our two hospitals, Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie. We couldn’t have got to this point without the hard work and commitment of our dedicated staff and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the preparations for the ‘switch-on.’”

“This doesn’t mean the Trust will be going ‘paperless’ immediately, it will take about a year to transfer medical records over. The most important priority is that we continue to deliver high quality care for our patients. For example a midwife delivering a baby may decide it is more appropriate at a particular time to write on paper then transfer the data electronically later.”

Afzal continued: “The new electronic patient record has been in operation behind the scenes since the beginning of September when we started to add existing patient information. Two weeks ago we replicated the 70,000 outpatient appointments from our existing systems and are now updating both old and new systems in parallel.”

“We are grateful to Epic and HP with whom we have worked closely to build and emulate a system which is already a success in the States.”

eHospital facts:

  • Over 2.1m  million patient records from the last five years have been uploaded to eHospital so far
  • 70,000 people are admitted to CUH each year, half a million people attend outpatient clinics and over 100,000 people attend A&E
  • 4,500 new HP computers have been installed 
  • Nurses have access to 500 iPod Touch devices which have been adapted to include barcode scanners to measure blood pressure and run other tests
  • In total approximately 7,000 devices, including some of the previous computer hardware, will be running the electronic patient record software
  • Nurses, doctors and other medical staff will also be able to use their own smartphones 
  • All data will be encrypted and no information will be stored on the devices
  • Data is backed up on two separate HP server centres in different geographic areas
  • There are multiple links to the data centres to ensure the system can operate continuously 
  • CUH is the first Trust in the UK to run the electronic patient record software designed by Epic.