Patient records are going digital 

31/03/2019 00:00 
We switched on our new electronic patient record system this morning. This means that clinical information about a patient’s care will be held in a single electronic record, replacing paper records and information held on other systems around UCLH.

Our new system, called Epic, is tried and tested and is used at leading hospitals worldwide and in the UK. Our teams have been working closely with Epic developers to ensure that the system meets the needs of the patients at UCLH and the staff looking after them.

We have been working for several years in preparation for the switch on. Dr Gill Gaskin, medical director, specialist hospitals, and executive lead for implementing our new system said: “Sunday 31 March marked the culmination of a huge amount of work for UCLH. We have updated hundreds of computers and software, trained thousands of staff and transferred millions of records from over 100 systems to the new one. Our staff have risen to the challenge and have shown such incredible commitment to ensure we are ready.”

Implementing a single electronic record for each patient will enable us to make the care we provide at UCLH even better and even safer. As Dr Gaskin explained: “All members of a team looking after a patient will have all the most up-to-date information about a patient’s care at the tap of a screen.

“This will ensure that there is a complete picture of how the patient is doing for whoever is caring for them at that time. Imagine a doctor prescribing medication – they can check quickly and easily for any allergies and make an informed, instant decision, as opposed to looking through notes or on local systems to check.”

Data will be safe - staff need a secure login or a smartcard to access the system and can only see the parts of the records they need in order to do their jobs.

Patients will notice some changes to the way we work.. There will no longer be paper records at the patient’s bedside. Instead, staff will update information on computers and laptops directly. They will also be able to log into a secure patient portal called MyCare UCLH to view information about their care, including scheduled appointments, test results and more.

Our new system will not only help us deliver better care now but also in future, as we will begin to build up data about diseases and conditions and how we treat them.

In the build up to go live, staff have been working tirelessly to ensure a smooth switch on. We have everything in place, but please do bear with us as there may be some initial delays as we all get used to working in new and different ways.

Professor Marcel Levi, UCLH chief executive concluded: “This is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by UCLH but the outcome will be worth it – improved safety, more efficient processes and more time to focus on what we do best – looking after patients in our care.

“We have worked hard to prepare for Epic, including upgrading computers and training thousands of staff. Patients may experience some delays in the initial implementation period as our staff get used to the new ways of working.

“Please be assured that your safety and care are always our top priority. We are working hard to keep any possible disruption to a minimum.”

Find out more about Epic 

View a film about Epic

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