Andrea Adams: Digitally transforming the Trust

Posted on Fri, 25/10/2019 by Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams NHS Gateshead GDE Blog

I am relatively new to the Trust and have only been in post for around a year. My job role is Digital Transformation Programme Lead and was brought in to the Trust to deliver the GDE Fast Follower programme, providing digital transformation for our clinicians.

While it is a requirement for all NHS Trusts to become paper free at the point of care by 2024; for me, digital transformation needs to do three things; create a positive digital experience for our patients, streamline systems to give clinicians more time to care and to save time and money by removing unnecessary processes where possible.  However, delivering on these three areas can’t be done in isolation and it is vital that we work in collaboration with key staff at all levels to ensure we make a real difference.

We are currently mid-point of our exciting Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Fast Follower programme which aims to bring real benefits to our front line staff and patients. GDE is one of those things that not everyone will have heard of but everyone will be aware of the projects involved. We have launched a new title for the programme which is ‘Digital Healthcare Gateshead’ you may have seen the logo in and around the Trust or in QE Weekly.  The projects completed so far have focussed mainly on building resilience in our IT infrastructure, implementation of digital records into all Community and Mental Health services, and the implementation of a single digital system for Pharmacy and Medications Management.

We have also introduced DocStore which will become the single place where all letters, both incoming and outgoing, all MDT outcome sheets, operation notes, discharge handover forms will be indexed to make them easy to find.  This is a large project that will take time but we are starting to feed in key systems so some information is already available in there and we will build on this.

Over the next 18 months or so we have a number of exciting digital projects covering the implementation of Digital Nursing observation, escalation and handover system – Nervecentre, digitising and integrating Cardiology and implementing a Digital Clinical Photography system.  Moreover, we will also have the ability to share images digitally with Newcastle Hospitals and Northumbria. We will also be implementing Digital Outpatients, and linking up with the Regional Image and Document Sharing Portal and Regional Patient Portal which will be a huge benefit for the region as a whole.

Alongside the digitising of images we are also on track to digitise a high number of our paper records.  As part of being a Global Digital Exemplar Fast Follower we need to make sure 90% of Nursing and Allied Health Professional recording documentation is digitised along with 50% of Physician documentation.  This is a huge piece of work in itself and the team will be working really closely with all staff to make sure we can achieve this in the timescales.

Digital transformation is supporting clinicians across the whole Trust and not just those based within the QE. For example we are currently in the process of introducing digital mobile working within the community and mental health teams.

It is really exciting to be working at the forefront of the Trust’s digital transformation. However, it is vital that we have input from clinicians at every stage, to ensure we are truly making a positive difference. There are a number of ways that clinicians can get involved in projects, if you are interested in getting involved or would like to know more about the GDE projects please contact me.




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