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ACE UK 2019: Racing to success

ACE UK 2019: Racing to success

Allscripts UK clients are at varying points in their digital journeys. Some are right at the starting gate; others are more advanced.

I recently had the opportunity to host our clients at ACE UK 2019 and hear wheelchair athlete and Parliamentarian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s inspirational keynote. Grey-Thompson spoke alongside leading Allscripts UK clients and other experts on the future of healthcare IT.

An inspirational keynote speaker

Grey-Thompson arrived at ACE UK 2019 with the video of one of her great wheelchair race wins playing in the background. The former athlete, committed Parliamentarian and campaigner gave an amusing and self-depreciating account of her career, and how to deliver success. You need to be committed, she told Allscripts experts and clients at the NEC in Birmingham.

You need goals and success measures and a plan to deliver them. She admitted that sometimes, you need to think laterally; for example, to comply with a rule that racing chairs had to have four wheels, the first three-wheeled chair arrived from the US with its fourth wheel “gaffer-taped to the back.”

Often, you just need to focus on what you can control in uncertain circumstances. And, always, she said, you need to seek out experts, build teams and create alliances to advance your cause.

Starting out right

Mark Hutchinson, chief digital and information officer at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, found strong value in attending ACE UK 2019.

Hutchinson announced that the trust will use the clinical wrap approach to retain its patient administration system, deploy Sunrise Acute Care, and go from being “one of the least digitally advanced trusts in the NHS” to Level 6 on the HIMSS EMRAM maturity model in just three years.

With this tool, and with Allscripts, the trust thinks it is possible. Other trusts are farther down the track.

Philippa Winter, the chief information officer of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and her deputy, Ken Bradshaw, explained how their organisation is getting ready to go-live with Sunrise in October. Bradshaw shared the value he gained from attending ACE UK 2019.

After that, Bolton is another trust that wants to go fast. Over the next few years, it will integrate Sunrise with specialist systems, run a paperless outpatients project, roll out documents and e-prescribing, deploy to community services, tackle Activation & Evaluation – and help to get information flowing between trusts across North West Manchester.

Winter was also convinced she had the kit and team to do it. “Allscripts are good. We have our ups and downs, but they share our vision – which is the vision of the NHS – of how to make things better for patients by integrating into our technology stack,” she said.

Securing gains 

Richard Yorke, head of EPR at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told those attending the meeting how following a similar, rapid roll-out of clinical functionality in 2017-18, the Princess Royal University Hospital, was starting to reap the benefits by “taking control of quality.”

Even small changes, such as requiring discharge planners to enter a valid discharge date into a redesigned discharge form, or pulling smoking status into the nursing record, could have a big impact on the efficiency and appropriateness of clinical interventions, he explained.

The elite athletes of the UK health tech scene are the trusts on the global digital exemplar programme. Representatives of GDE Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust were at the event, but they weren’t presenting because they have been busy upgrading to the latest version of Sunrise Acute Care, 18.4.

The upgrade went incredibly well and made the trust the first international Allscripts client to go live with the system.

Richard Strong, vice president and managing director, EMEA, highlighted the achievement in a round-up of developments since the first ACE UK eight months ago.

“The upgrade went very smoothly,” he said, “so we say thank-you to Salford for their hard work.”

Wrapping things up

Paul Minton, Allscripts product management, said Sunrise 18.4 will be the last big upgrade. From 2020 onward, Allscripts will issue one major and one minor upgrade per year, and its longer-term aim is to shift to a “dev-ops” approach, with more frequent but less disruptive upgrades of its core product.

Alan Fowles, president of Allscripts International, assured those attending the event that along with this investment in its core product, Allscripts will also continue to work with partners and develop solutions that work across the continuum of care.

He also emphasized the Allscripts commitment to open platforms and to working with innovators. James Hodgin, head of solutions UK, explained how the Sunrise clinical wrap can help trusts to plan to meet their digital goals. The solution has been so successful that it is being extended from the UK to other parts of the world.

On the topic of the HIMSS EMRAM levels, Hodgin explained that the approach will get trusts quickly to Level 4 or 5. Luckily, Allscripts has the solutions to get organisations the rest of the way. Salford Royal is determined to demonstrate this, as it is committed to achieving level 7 by the end of the year.

Success built on hours of work

Grey-Thompson told those attending the event that achieving any kind of success requires a goal, a team, a plan to achieve it, and the resilience to stay the course.

“People focus on medals, but I was only in a medal race for 20 minutes of my career,” she said. “In the run up to that, I did thousands of hours of training and in the end, that is what mattered.”

The take-away for healthcare IT? Reaching a goal, like HIMSS EMRAM Levels 6 or 7, takes the right team, the right systems, time and commitment; the kind shown by Allscripts and its NHS clients working together.

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