Adam Charlton is cutting down on the paperwork

Posted on Thu, 01/08/2019

Adam Charlton Digital Healthcare Gateshead

I have worked for the Trust for almost 10 years, with the majority of my time working on digital transformation projects within Clinical Informatics. Over this period I have been fortunate to work on a wide range of large projects with different clinical areas such as Theatres, Maternity and Pharmacy. The Pharmacy project involved replacing paper based drug charts with a state of the art electronic prescribing system called ePMA.

 My current role is that of Project Manager within the Digital Healthcare Gateshead Team. I am currently leading on a very large project entitled The Paperless Clinician. Essentially the aim of the project is to streamline and digitise the clinician’s interaction with patient records. A central digital repository allows clinical staff to quickly access patient records to help inform decision making. The move from paper based to a digital system also allows multiple users to access the notes simultaneously to support multi-disciplinary working.

Alongside storing documents digitally the project is also streamlining the way that documents are created. We have redesigned the way we gather clinical information from patients. For example, when we collect information such as medical and social history from a patient, we can share that information with all clinicians involved throughout their care. This helps to minimise disruption and irritation to the patients, by not asking them the same questions over and over. This system allows clinicians to confirm and update, rather than re-ask patients questions they have previously been asked. Saving time and improving the patient journey.

Furthermore, the information collected can be used in the semi-automation of patient letters and clinical documentation. Early adopters of this system within the Trust have seen a 50% reduction in time taken to produce letters for patients. Thus saving clinician and admin time but more importantly ensuring patients and GPs receive the letters more quickly.

As part of this project I am also exploring new ways to further support clinicians in this area by utilising technology such as voice recognition and electronic signing. I enjoy looking at ways in which we can streamline processes with clinicians so they can spend more time with patients.

 One of the best aspects of my role is working with clinicians across all specialities, departments and professions and finding out about the amazing work they do. It really is a privilege to find out about their work and how they support patients day in and day out. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if it wasn’t for the key input from the clinicians. Over the coming months I am looking forward to working with a wider range of clinicians as the project rolls out across all areas of the Trust. 

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