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4 keys to achieving digital maturity

The UK’s Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital (LHCH) has a patient-centered approach that guides every aspect of the organisation, including its efforts to advance digital maturity.

LHCH clinicians lead electronic patient record (EPR) and digitisation initiatives. They use technology to reduce risk, improve efficiency and deliver the highest quality care. In just a few short years, LHCH has become 99.9% paperless, been ranked Third in Cheshire and Merseyside for digital maturity, and was rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission, a first for a specialty Trust.

Here are LHCH’s keys to digital maturity:

 1. A transition to paperless

 LHCH embraced the benefits of a paperless system since the earliest days of launching its EPR. The National Health Service (NHS) is urging all Trusts to become paperless by 2020 to enable better health and care at a lower cost.

Transitioning to paperless meant LHCH had to evaluate every paper-based process at the hospital. The Sunrise™ HIM scanning solution captures the same information electronically, including discharged patients’ paperwork and signatures.

Many clinicians worry about timeliness, but the EPR makes it easier to quickly document information. Besides saving time, clinicians can assess patients’ data remotely, improving the response time to changes in a patient’s condition.

2. Improved workflow

One area where LHCH has seen an improvement is when the Trust refers patients to Cardiac Rehabilitation services. Previously, the EPR was separate from the referral system and required double entry of multiple fields within the workflow. LHCH developed an EPR form that automatically pulls information from places where it has been recorded.

“When the patient is discharged, we have logic in the background that matches patient information to a Cardiac Rehabilitation location, which improves the accuracy of these referrals,” EPR Manager Carol Moss said.

Missed referrals have decreased drastically from an average of 50 to just one or two overall each month, resulting in most referrals going to the right place the first time.

3. A trusted technology partner

LHCH understands the importance of clinical leadership for its EPR transformation. Analysts on the core EPR team were from clinical backgrounds and helped shape workflows and procedures to best meet clinical needs.

“It was always about identifying clinical needs and developing systems that benefit patients,” Head of Digital Healthcare Dave Murphy said.

Murphy chose Allscripts because it offered the capabilities and approach that was the best fit for LHCH. LHCH has used the flexibility within Allscripts Sunrise™ to address clinical and technical challenges, such as duplication in the cardiac rehabilitation referral workflow.

“But it wasn’t just about the technology; Allscripts takes a partnership approach, which is a standout feature for us,” Murphy said.

4. Ranked high

With a trusted EPR partner, clinical leadership and a commitment to more efficient, paperless workflows, LHCH has earned national recognition in digital maturity. The NHS England assessment, which ranked LHCH Third in Cheshire and Merseyside, evaluated 15 categories, including resource optimisation, governance, strategic alignment and more.

“We find that when we deliver clinically-led technology improvements, good scores and recognition follow,” Murphy said.

LHCH has also ranked well within the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), which tracks healthcare organisations’ progress towards achieving a paperless environment. According to this eight-stage maturity model, LHCH has reached Stage 5, which puts LHCH in the top one-third of European healthcare organisations.

To learn more about LHCH’s digital maturity journey, download a case study. 

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