Hospice introduces record sharing to improve end of life care

East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield is using record-sharing technology to help fulfil the final wishes of patients with advanced, life-limiting illnesses.

The hospice is using EMIS Web, a clinical system for integrated healthcare, to securely share data with other organisations as part of the national Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS).

The hospice team, alongside EMIS Health, worked towards tailoring the technology to patients’ needs. East Cheshire Hospice state the technology has been invaluable in helping to improve end of life care.

Since the technology was introduced 424 inpatients and 333 day patients have been cared for, whilst 1700 outpatient appointments have been delivered.

Helen Knight clinical and operations director of the hospice said: “End of life care involves often complex and sensitive discussions with patients, whether it is about their preferred place of death or decisions that may be taken on their behalf once they’re no longer able to. Being able to record that information and ensuring it is visible to the right people at the right time is crucial.

“Until EMIS Web was introduced, we simply weren’t able to ensure the records were up to date or readily accessible. Patients often had to repeat themselves and we weren’t able to capture data for monitoring and auditing.”

The hospice states that EMIS Web is helping the hospital improve patient care by recording patients’ wishes accurately and consistently across healthcare services, ensuring information such as advanced decisions, preferred place of death, are visible in real time when needed. The service enables the hospice to access Cheshire Care Record meaning that they can view data from other hospitals in the area. EMIS Web also records information on and views of family/carers, including appointment information for their new carers service.

Mike Drew, ICT manager for the hospice said: “We have shown that with a coordinated approach and a great, interoperable IT system, we can collect and share patient data to improve patient care. We are very proud that the technology is helping our patients to end their lives with dignity and in the way that they wish. Simply, it’s the best thing we’ve done – and we want to help others do the same. So far, almost 30 other hospices have visited us to see the difference it’s made.”

Duane Lawrence, managing director at EMIS Health said: “We are very proud that EMIS Web – a system that is designed to help clinicians to deliver integrated healthcare – is helping East Cheshire to offer a safer, better service to extremely vulnerable patients. People receiving end of life care have complex health and social needs which we are proud to help address and ease with the use of our systems.”

East Cheshire Hospice is aiming to introduce a managed referrals service, to allow referrals to be made electronically via the system, and to start prescribing via EMIS Web.

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