West Suffolk Hospital is beginning a multi-million programme to give medical staff electronic access to centralise patient records.
The electronic patient record (EPR) project will see a state-of-the art, standardised IT system introduced across the hospital to give staff instant access to real-time digital records which the hospital says will improve safety, prevent duplication and cut costs.
While £17.2m will be invested in the project over the next 10 years, the system is expected to save £22.4m over the same period.
e-Care will help the hospital share information with GPs and other NHS colleagues more easily, to deliver more integrated, services for patients.
Dermot O’Riordan, consultant surgeon and interim chief executive, is leading the project and said: “Investing in this important new system is the most significant decision the hospital has made in recent years.
“e-Care is about putting our patients – their outcomes and safety – first, and will ensure our clinical staff have the necessary technical support to continue providing the highest standards of care.
“Benefits for our patients will include a significant reduction in the number of times we ask them the same questions and an increase in the amount of time we can spend with them.
“The ability to prescribe medication electronically will help us to care for them in a safer, more effective way.”
e-Care will replace the hospital’s current patient administration system which is around 20 years old and will not receive technical support after 2015.