South East Coast Ambulance Service’s NHS Foundation
Trust’s (SECAmb) innovative electronic Patient Clinical Record
(ePCR) project is being rolled out across the Trust’s region
following successful trials in Thanet, Kent.

The project, in which clinicians are personally issued with
iPads, enables ambulance crews to complete patient records
electronically, streamline communication with hospitals, save on
paper and time, improve information security and create more
legible records.

The rollout will see groups of clinicians receive the devices
and be familiarised in their use by specially-trained

The Trust will distribute the devices to clinicians across its
Kent, Surrey and Sussex region in stages with the majority expected
to have been delivered by spring 2017.

SECAmb’s ePCR project has been developed with leading UK-based
IT provider Kainos utilizing their Evolve software and with iPads
and network provided by O2 Telefonica.

The new system involves ambulance crews emailing patient records
to receiving hospitals across the region which are then able to
either append the record electronically into their own A&E
systems or print a paper copy.

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

SECAmb IT Development Project Manager Karen Mann said: “We’re
really pleased to enter the next stage of the rollout of this
important project. Our ePCR will play a major part in our plans to
streamline the handover process with hospitals and also reduce the
amount of paper we use. Clinicians will also benefit from the
system during assessments of patients who do not require hospital
treatment and we expect it to further improve our links with local
healthcare teams and GP surgeries.”

SECAmb paramedic Mike Earl was one of the first paramedics to
use the iPad and ePCR application. He said: “This electronic system
has a number of benefits and is a really worthwhile innovation. The
quality of the documentation is better and more legible and there
are no constraints to a text box like there is with a paper form.
Also the data we log can be captured and audited instantly. While
we’re in the early stages, it has been well received by hospital
colleagues and staff welcome the fact that the software is operated
on an iPad which means the device is multi-functional.”

SECAmb Head of IT Mark Chivers added: “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

SECAmb is currently the only ambulance trust in the UK using
iPads for its clinical records. This has ensured the device is
multi-functional for clinicians and will open up avenues for
further use and development in the future.