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UHNM therapies introduce electronic notes to improve patient care

Therapy staff from University Hospitals of North Midlands are coordinating care for patients’ quicker and more efficiently thanks to new electronic note taking.

Therapies at County Hospital, together with other allied health professionals, were involved in the initiation of the digitalisation project and roll out to wards that are working towards MDT electronic noting.

The project, which was introduced in November 2022 at County Hospital, has enabled quick access to accurate and up to date therapy records and has improved communication between clinicians, making discharging patients quicker and more efficient.

Notes are taken on tablets or laptops by physiotherapists and occupational therapists and the information is uploaded to the digital platform, iPortal which can be accessed by other clinicians caring for a patient.

Clare Johnson, Head of Therapies at County Hospital said: “The digitalisation of notes means that any previously handwritten notes can now be entered directly onto iPortal. Initially the unavailability of hardware was preventing users being able to do this in a timely manner, but due to UTF funding we were able to get support with some extra hardware such as tablets and laptops. 

“Stuart Fallaize Cunningham from the Business Change team provided invaluable support and we are thrilled to now have over 50 staff members across eight wards at County Hospital fully digital.”

The Acute Medical Unit, A&E and outpatient areas neurology and amputees at County Hospital are now using digital notes leaving two outpatient areas left to make the switch over.

Sarah Hind, UHNM discharge facilitator, said:  “Having the therapy notes electronic makes them much more accessible. I feel electronic therapy notes have improved communication and teamwork and they are also assisting in facilitating more timely discharges.”

Ceri Chrimes, Occupational Therapist at County Hospital, said: “The Electronic notes seem to be enabling quick access to accurate, up to date therapy records. They are helping to assist in more efficient, coordinated care and have enhanced communication amongst the therapy team and MDT even further.”

The electronic noting system benefits not only therapists and clinicians at County but also colleagues at MPFT.

Jude Douch, Senior Physiotherapist /Therapy Lead – Specialised Mobility Centre at MPFT said: “Being able to view notes via iPortal is particularly useful for our team to provide an accessible link with UHNM. I have recently found it invaluable when monitoring a patient on the ward at both Royal Stoke and County as it has given a helpful insight in the patient’s current activity and mobility levels and any reason for review.”

The Digitalisation project forms an essential part of the Trusts Digital Strategy.  On the back of success at County the next step would be to progress across into the Royal Stoke site.