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North Cumbria Integrated Care Trust to use Better Meds e-prescribing


Mark Say Managing Editor

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North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) has appointed Better Meds, alongside CGI as the implementation partner, to provide e-prescribing and allergy monitoring across its acute and community hospitals.

The companies have been awarded the contract to deliver the Better Meds solution and Better Allergies Portal following an open procurement process.

The agreement is a step in the trust’s move away from paper based systems towards a central electronic patient record model.

It is planning to use Better Meds, built on an openEHR platform, to allow for integration between existing and future systems. This will include the immediate integration into NCIC’s existing decision support systems, as well as its pharmacy and Omnicell automated dispensing cabinets.

Farouq Din, assistant director of digital healthcare at NCIC, said the open platform approach and standardised APIs allow for coded data exchange and hence medications and patient records to be moved between systems more easily. This will be important in joining up health and care systems through optimal data sharing.”

The new system will be piloted at a single site ward initially, testing and amending medication configuration before a full roll out across two acute hospital sites and county-wide community hospital wards.

Digital health pivotal

Michael Smillie, executive director of finance and digital at NCIC, said: "One of the most important components of our transformation, as an organisation and wider healthcare system, will be how well we embrace the challenge of digital. Digital health plays a pivotal role in improving how care is delivered, empowering both communities and professionals through better digital services and information.

“We believe that ePMA is a crucial element of this and a priority for us in terms of our quality and safety agenda. We are excited for the benefits it will bring for our patients and staff.”

NCIC provides hospital and community health services for about 500,000 people in the area.

Image from iStock, Marian Vejcik

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