Tynwald has, at the June 2014 sitting, approved a sum not exceeding £3.2million to upgrade the patient administration IT system at Noble’s Hospital.
Moving the motion in Tynwald, Minister for Health and Social Care Howard Quayle said: “The Department intends to maximise the use of innovative information technology to improve our Health and Social Care services for the benefit of all.
“To call this proposal a simple upgrade over-simplifies the situation, as this will constitute a significant change programme over the next 12 months, moving the current hospital patient administration system, called Medway, to Medway Sigma. This forms a major part of a broader range of future projects designed to reduce risk to patient safety, improve efficiency and enhance the working lives of our staff.
“The majority of the cost will be the implementation of the new system and the provision of training over a 12 month period – a very significant undertaking by the staff of the Department supported by our colleagues in the Government Technology Service. The proposal is a necessary one and in the context of our complex health and social care setting, represents value for money by substantially upgrading a core system which is critical to the day-to-day running of the hospital.”
Upgrades to hospital IT systems on this scale are common practice across the UK NHS, helping to improve efficiency and patient care. The new system will provide opportunities for more modern working, for example the clinician reading and updating their patient records on mobile devices at the bedside and potentially patients checking in for their appointments at a self-service kiosk. Options like these will allow resources to be re-invested into front-line care, at the patient’s bedside.
The vision of ‘the right patient, with the right record in the right place’ can only be achieved by ensuring full adherence to Data Protection principles at all times. Where the treatment of a patient means needing to use information from other areas of health and social care, it will require the consent of the patient at the time. This will ensure that existing specialised records remain under the control of the appointed clinical lead but are, when needed, accessible to others in a safe, secure and convenient way and to control access to only those that need it.
The quality and scope of the management information available from the new Medway Sigma system will give the Department a wealth of data to better understand demands and performance within the Health Service, leading to improvements in operational management and strategic long term planning.