The largest roll-out of hospital electronic prescribing in the United Kingdom has commenced

Exeter 16 January 2009A major project to implement full e-prescribing and drug administration across three acute care sites in Birmingham's Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has commenced. The Trust's Board has chosen to implement JAC's E-Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) system to ensure best practice for patient safety. As the largest project of its kind in the United Kingdom, the roll-out of hospital EPMA will provide advanced functionality and reporting tools for managing inpatient and TTO (to-take-out) medicines to several thousand front-line clinicians and cover over 1800 beds across all the wards and theatres at Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals.


The high level of importance the Trust is attaching to the project means the implementation is being given a high priority and is due to be completely rolled out by July 2009 - 14 months after the implementation team was expanded in preparation for the full, Trust-wide roll-out. A dedicated team of pharmacy and nursing staff at the Trust is in place to manage the process.

The EPMA system is also fully integrated with the Trust's Pharmacy Management system. Niall Poole, Electronic Prescribing Project Manager at the Trust, explained: "We have used the JAC Pharmacy Management system for a number of years. Integrating the EPMA system provides a comprehensive medicines management solution that connects clinical and pharmacy staff across the Trust."

The system further supports patient safety by incorporating the Multilex Drug Data File (Multilex DDF), from First DataBank Europe (FDBE). Multilex DDF provides the system's clinical users with patient-specific clinical decision support to actively check for drug-drug interactions, duplicate therapies and drug allergies.

Niall Poole explained: "E-prescribing minimises the risk of medication errors in many ways: from the very basic, such as producing legible prescriptions which are not subject to the difficulties and potential dangers of reading and interpreting handwriting, to the very advanced such as drug interaction information at the point of prescribing."

Robert Tysall-Blay, JAC's Chief Executive, commented: "We are pleased to continue to work with Birmingham Heart of England Foundation Trust with this large-scale roll out. Today, the large majority of hospitals are still using a paper-based prescribing system so it is encouraging to see that Trusts are realising the benefits that e-prescribing can offer, notably improved patient safety and overall medicines management."

Darren Nichols, Managing Director at FDBE, commented: "FDBE is committed to improving patient safety across the whole of the health care sector, and we are particularly pleased to have an integral role in such an important e-health initiative within the secondary care sector."

Future plans at the Trust include the implementation of e-prescribing in Outpatients. This roll-out follows on from earlier successful installations at Ayr & Arran, Doncaster, Winchester, Great Ormond Street and others.

JAC Computer Services Ltd. (JAC) is a supplier of medicines management solutions to the NHS as well as to key sites in Ireland and South Africa. JAC's United Kingdom user-base now accounts for around half of all NHS trusts in England as well as sites in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

JAC provides pharmacy stock control, e-prescribing and medicines administration as a single integrated solution along with associated services and third-party interfaces. JAC is also the exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom and Ireland of ServeRx ward-based automation technologies for medicines and medical equipment.

The JAC solution for ePrescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) includes integrated in-patient and out-patient prescribing, discharge prescribing, decision support for providing warnings on allergies, drug-drug interactions and therapeutic duplicates, as well as bed-side medicines administration support and recording.

In May 1996, JAC was acquired by Mediware Inc. and continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary. The acquisition by Mediware Inc. created the world's largest supplier of medicines management systems for hospital pharmacies.

First DataBank Europe (FDBE) is the United Kingdom's major provider of drug knowledge bases and active clinical decision support. With over 25 years' experience of maintaining, developing and integrating drug knowledge bases across the entire health care spectrum, FDBE has unrivalled expertise and knowledge in this specialist field. NHS Connecting for Health has chosen FDBE to provide drug-related clinical decision support.

Patient safety is the driving force behind FDBE's business. Through the effective integration of its products into clinical systems, the company enables safer prescribing, dispensing and administration. Its Multilex Drug Data File - the United Kingdom's most comprehensive and widely used drug knowledge base - is in daily use by thousands of health care professionals in the United Kingdom.

Source: First DataBank Europe

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