London, UK – March 12th, 2012 – South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has selected Evolve®, the next-generation electronic medical record (EMR) solution from Kainos, to transform patient information management and access across its acute and community-based health services over the next two years.
SWFT is the latest in a long line of major healthcare organisations to commit to a substantial patient record digitisation project with Kainos. The Trust, which encompasses Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon hospitals, absorbed Warwickshire Community Health from the local Primary Care Trust in April 2011. It now employs almost 4,000 staff and is responsible for acute health services in the south of the County and community-based health services across the whole of Warwickshire.
At a practical level, the project is designed to vastly reduce the need for physical medical records storage, as the Trust has no further capacity to expand its existing library to cope with its expanding needs. More strategically, SWFT is looking to change the way staff work, by providing dynamic access to real-time patient information.
“Even with the best medical records library in the world, reliance on paper-based patient notes is far from efficient,” explains Duncan Robinson, Associate Director of ICT at SWFT. “Whether in an acute or community setting, there is significant duplication of information. Paper can’t be in two places at once. Ultimately, flexible, simultaneous electronic access to the latest patient information will free up clinical time and improve patient care.”
He is particularly “excited” about the mobile working capabilities the Trust will introduce in conjunction with Kainos. “Warwickshire is a rural county so 3G connectivity is an issue but we’re working with Kainos on the ability to work in a real-time, synchronised online/offline manner, and to plug in more community functionality.” Ultimately this will extend beyond pure EMR capabilities, into solutions that help district nurses map and plan optimum routes for their rounds, with the knowledge that clinicians can access and update a patient’s records at the point of care during a clinic or visit to a patient’s home.
The choice of Kainos as SWFT’s strategic technology partner was straightforward, according to Duncan. “It was clear that the Kainos product stood head and shoulders above alternative solutions. It is functionally rich, inherently role-based and intuitive to use. Evolve is a very polished product.”
The fact that Kainos could demonstrate mobile access using Apple iPad® tablet devices was another tick in the box, he adds. “Whether in the community or at the bedside, the aim is to be mobile.”
SWFT selected Specialist Computer Centres (SCC) as the prime contractor and procured the solution under a Government procurement framework to achieve best value for money and minimise procurement time. Implementation began in January and SWFT expects to have deployed document management capabilities by as early as June. “This is extremely quick,” Duncan notes. The Trust is implementing an in-house scanning bureau which Kainos is designing and implementing, to capture content from patient records currently in paper format. “One of Kainos’ implementation workshops worked through scanning bureau processes in detail; another will cover how best to structure the data for optimal clinical usage. They’ve been very helpful in that way.
“We were immediately struck by the calibre of the Kainos people who came across as extremely proactive and keen. The reference sites confirmed this.
Commenting on the project win, Deirdre O’Neill, Head of Kainos Evolve, said, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust on such a forward-looking initiative. It is a privilege for Kainos that they have recognised the unique value that Evolve brings to the table, and we look forward to developing this promising relationship.”