Skip to content

SECAmb’s electronic ePCR iPad project approved for further rollout

08 August 2016

iPad RolloutSouth East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb’s) innovative electronic Patient Clinical Record (ePCR) project will expand further having been given Board approval to be used by all clinicians across the Trust’s Thanet Operational Unit area.

The project, in which clinicians are personally issued with iPads, enables ambulance crews to complete patient records electronically, streamlining communication with hospitals, as well as saving on paper and time.

To date 20 staff in Thanet have been using the iPads and have now completed more than 1,000 ePCRs as part of the extended testing and rollout process. Over the coming weeks and months the iPads will be issued to a further approximately 200 clinicians.

The project has been continually assessed and improved since its’ operational launch in October 2015 with an improved software version deployed recently.

SECAmb IT Development Project Manager Karen Mann said: “The development of our ePCR is an important part of the Trust’s plans to streamline the handover process with hospital emergency departments at the same time as reducing the amount of paper used. It will also be useful for our clinicians during assessments for patients not conveyed to hospital and eventually improve our links with local healthcare teams and GP surgeries.”

Ambulance iPads ePCR

SECAmb paramedic Mike Earl was one of the first paramedics to use the iPad and ePCR application. He said: “This is a really worthwhile innovation. The quality of the documentation is much better and more legible. With it being electronic there are no constraints to a text box and you can write as much as you like without the need to fill in a continuation sheet as you would have to with the paper system.

“It’s also of benefit that data can be captured and audited instantly and although we’re in the early stages it’s also been well received by our hospital colleagues. Staff also like the fact that with the software operated on an iPad, the equipment is multi-functional.”

The scheme is expected to next roll-out across SECAmb’s Ashford operational area in Kent and eventually throughout the rest of the Trust’s region.

SECAmb’s ePCR project has been developed with leading UK-based IT provider Kainos utilizing their Evolve software.

Head of SECAmb IT Mark Chivers said: “This is an important project for the Trust. Not only does it improve patient care and efficiency but it also takes us forward on our mission to be digitally mature.”

“The iPad is intuitive and the clinicians use it not just for the ePCRs but also for messaging, web browsing and more, while keeping data safe utilizing the iOS’ inherent security strengths.”

Using ePCR on an iPad

The project team has been working closely with the hospitals in the trial area to ensure a smooth and secure handover process.

SECAmb’s ePCR Clinical Lead Steve Topley said: “Providing a hospital with a seamless handover of accurate legible electronic handover notes makes it quicker and easier for them to provide rapid, focused care. It saves precious time and can greatly improve safety for patients.”

By consolidating four paper forms into one electronic form the Trust eliminates duplicate information and has a joined-up system that works on and offline.

SECAmb is currently the only ambulance Trust in the UK using iPads for its clinical records. A bold decision that has drawn considerable interest from other UK Trusts, especially because a corporately owned, personally enabled policy was adopted.

This has ensured the device is multi-functional for clinicians and will open up avenues for further use and development in the future.

Bookmark and Share