Digital records help South Tees A&E clinicians ‘transform’ care

Accident and emergency doctors in South Tees have scrapped paper records to go digital, helping patients receive better, safer and faster emergency care.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have switched to the Symphony urgent and emergency care system from Emis Health to help meet a number of important targets, including waiting times, sepsis screening, and safeguarding vulnerable patients.

Consultants say it has ‘transformed’ care in the emergency department, which sees 300 patients a day.

Clinicians at the Trust used to have to complete paper records with information on sepsis screening and safeguarding. Now, the electronic patient record has improved performance at the Trust and has also helped it meet a 100% compliance rate on sepsis screening and safeguarding.

More so, despite increasing pressures staff are meeting the four-hour A&E waiting target for 95% of patients. Each shift is run by an emergency doctor who coordinates the entire department along with a senior nurse and administrator/flow coordinator. The team discusses each patient and then allocates them to the most suitable clinician based on their presenting complaint and acuity of illness or injury.

Emergency medicine consultant Andrew Adair said: “We never expected that going digital would transform everything about the department. Before introducing Symphony and going paperless, patients were seen by the next available doctor, even if there was someone with more relevant clinical expertise in the department. Now, we discuss every patient as a coordinated team and we also greet every ambulance arriving, meaning we are also meeting the required ambulance handover time target.

“Introducing Symphony and changing the way we work is better for patients and it means we’re running the department much better. We now have more control and can provide safer, better care. Having information at our fingertips and in front of us on an electronic board means we know at a glance exactly what is happening in the department.”

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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