New system to improve safe use of medicine at Kettering General Hospital

Pharmacist Anthony Bartlett, and Chief of Family Health Division and Chief Pharmacist, Duane McLean, with a computer pedestal of the type to be used on the wards once the electronic prescribing system is fully operational
Pharmacist Anthony Bartlett, and Chief of Family Health Division and Chief Pharmacist, Duane McLean, with a computer pedestal of the type to be used on the wards once the electronic prescribing system is fully operational

Kettering General Hospital has been awarded £820,000 to introduce a new high-tech electronic system that will improve the safe use of medicines for patients.

It made a successful bid to NHS Improvement to fund a new Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) system.

KGH’s chief pharmacist, Duane McLean, said: “We are absolutely delighted our bid has been successful.

“Basically it will enable us to start changing the way medicines are prescribed and administered at the hospital.

“We currently use a paper system whereby drug charts are filled in by doctors and nurses and then go into a patient’s hard copy notes.

“We will be replacing this with a completely new electronic system for recording all medications, and doses of medication, that a patient receives while in hospital and goes home with.

“This will be major step forward in safety because it provides a complete account of a patient’s medication history which is quickly accessible .

“It will tell staff if a patient has any allergies or sensitivities to medication, highlight any possible interactions between medications, and generally give doctors and nurses a clear and very up to date picture of the way a patient’s condition is being treated using medications.”

Other safety improvements the electronic system will provide include preventing errors caused by illegible handwriting and reducing the risk of errors in medicine doses because the system is designed to record things such as the patient’s weight.

The prescribing system is a key part of the hospital’s digital strategy which is moving the hospital towards paperless working by 2022.