Background A partnership of the five different Specialist Palliative Care service providers in Worcestershire came together to implement a county-wide clinical notes system for specialist palliative care patients. The SystmOne electronic clinical management system was introduced in August 2009 across all settings from acute hospital to independent sector hospice and NHS community palliative care providers.
Aims of this survey To demonstrate improvements in clinical care and efficiency through sector wide access to a single set of electronic palliative care notes.
Methods Referrals to a hospital palliative care team over 1 month analysed in SystmOne to document patient pathways and access to multiple services and providers. Estimates of time saved by reduced telephone calls and faxes between agencies were also made.
Results Seventy-two episodes of patient care were analysed. 27 (37.5%) were already known to palliative care services within Worcestershire, therefore clinical information, some advance care planning information and psychosocial details were available to the acute hospital palliative care team at the time of their initial assessment. Thirty-seven (51%) were discharged from the acute hospital and received on-going support from palliative care teams within the county (18 different teams in total), all of whom were able to access the clinical information contributed to the electronic record during the inpatient admission. During this 30 day period, the authors estimate that 17.3 h were saved by communicating/referring via SystemOne. The authors include a case study which demonstrates improved quality of patient care.
Conclusion County-wide access to a single electronic palliative care record has improved efficiency and quality of information and patient care.
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