Paper-based health records are becoming a thing of the past at
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.
The organisation is investing in a new electronic clinical
document system which will enable it to start converting from paper
to electronic health records' management.
The electronic clinical document management system will change
the way acute health records are used. Staff will have secure
access online to health records, allowing the availability of
records when and where they are needed, improving the quality of
services to patients at the point of care.
Mr Andrew Jennings, Orthopaedic Consultant at County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, has championed the introduction of
the new system. He said: "This is an extremely important
development from a clinical and patient safety point of view.
Implementing an electronic management system means we will be able
to access patient records instantaneously and concurrently at any
of our Trust locations. Being able to access the records at the
point of care will support clinical decision making and also ensure
that we have key information available immediately which will bring
improved patient care.
"Rapid access and improved sharing of information through the
new system will also help support a reduction in any appointments
or operations which may need to be cancelled because notes are not
available. Also, because staff will be able to access the notes
from multiple settings it will mean patients won't have to repeat
their history to different professionals or at different sites,
leading to an improved patient experience.
"The new system will bring particular improvements in emergency
care. Clinicians will be able to access a patient's medical history
including for example their anaesthetic history at the point of
care within the emergency departments leading to improved and safer
emergency management and surgery."
The system, which will allow acute health records to be captured
and stored as electronic images, and then be viewed on computers
across the organisation, is expected to be introduced in the New
Initially being piloted in two areas, it is expected that the
project will be rolled out across the organisation by Autumn
Published: 18 December 2012
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital