Do you use electronic patient records in community settings? Did you have any say in the electronic system you are using? If you recognise that improvements could be made to a system, can you do anything about it?
It’s crucial to have clinical staff involved in the development of electronic community systems, and that’s exactly what we are doing in NHS Forth Valley.
We know that effective and efficient community services are the foundation of healthcare in the NHS, and having a robust electronic patient record system is required to support these services. However, we need to ensure that electronic systems are fit for purpose. What is the best way to do this? Involve clinical staff right from the beginning!
In 2019 we will replace MiDIS, the Multi Disciplinary Information System that is currently used by a range of nursing services including district nurses, health visitors and school nurses, and Allied Health Professions (AHPs). In choosing a replacement system, we knew we had to find a system that had certain features that staff were longing for such as a mobile online/offline solution, annotated diagrams and body charts (and a spell check!).
The introduction of a mobile solution will transform clinical working practices for many staff. It will also enable additional services to become paper-light due to the presence of body charts e.g. podiatry.
The replacement system, Morse (http://morse.cambric.co.uk) has been chosen and now we need clinical staff to be fully involved in the development of this so that it meets the needs of all our services and to ensure that the design and the way that we use Morse is centred on the user. This is a significant project as the system will be used initially by over 1,300 users, within 34 specialties and services, with additional services to come on board later.
To do this, we have recruited Morse Champions and Super Users. We needed Nurses and AHPs, including support workers, to undertake these roles. We asked for one Champion per service and at least one Super User per team. We specified personal attributes that we were looking for such as excellent communication skills, ability to teach and support, flexibility, problem solving skills and willingness to embrace new technology and different ways of working.
We have indicated key tasks of Service Champions and Super Users which includes reviewing existing forms and letters, testing the system to check it does what we need it do, working alongside eHealth trainers to develop Morse training, tailoring user guides to meet the needs of their service, and supporting staff in the use of Morse.
The Service Champions and Super Users will be supported by three Project Champions – an AHP (Me – Nicola Henderson), a District Nurse (Lynda Coulter) and a Health Visitor (Pauline Wyatt). The Project Champions are members of the Morse Project Board and work closely with the More Project Team. None of the Morse Project Team are clinicians, so it is really important that clinical involvement is at the core of this work to ensure the system is set up based on clinical needs and processes.
We have had one demonstration session so far, which was attended by 150 clinical staff – this session gave an overview of the system and the feedback has been great. Staff are excited by a new system, particularly the mobile working as it will make such a difference if staff can complete notes and assessments while they are with the patient in the community.
Staff are without a doubt keen to be involved and their input is crucial for the successful implementation and ongoing use of Morse. So, if your organisation is looking to replace a clinical system, ask how clinical staff can be involved – your help should be invaluable!
By Nicola Henderson, AHP eHealth Clinical Lead, NHS Forth Valley
Follow me on Twitter: @Nic_RD_AHP
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