A Major UK Hospital Selects Datalogic’s Gryphon™ Desk Readers to Manage Electronic Patient Records
The Wythenshawe Hospital is a major acute teaching hospital, recognized as a center of clinical excellence and providing district general hospital services and specialist tertiary services to its local community. Wythenshawe serves as a major public hospital in Manchester, England and is part of the South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. The NHS Foundation Trust is a teaching hospital and research center, providing services at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital.
The Wythenshawe Hospital used a traditional paper-based process to manually enter patient information into patient records. This process is known to be less reliable than automated entry and can cause major health concerns for patients as a result of the opportunity for human error. For the medical facility, error that leads to the injury or even death of a patient opens the door for major legal complications. The Wythenshawe Hospital staff also found the process to be time-consuming, as doctors and nurses had to take time away from patients to enter data, recall patient records or refill prescriptions manually.
Today, public hospitals in the UK are responsible for introducing new processes for patient records and supporting technologies to improve patient care. The new processes are also expected to reduce patient costs to ease the burden on general taxation. After analyzing their current data entry processes, the Wythenshawe Hospital began to consider their options as to adopting a new technology to support patient record tracking.
After testing several solutions, the Wythenshawe Hospital decided to implement a system based on bar codes and bar code scanning devices. More specifically, Wythenshawe selected Datalogic’s Gryphon™ Desk bar code readers to support staff in scanning codes on patient records. By automating this activity, the staff is able to automatically retrieve a patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
The equipment was specifically configured to the hospital’s system by bar coding specialist, Kelgray. Darren Wildman, sales manager for Kelgray, stated, “Wythenshawe had already been bar coding files on their previous paper-based system and they wanted to use the same technology to eliminate the need for keyboard entry to be aligned with their new Patient Administration System (PAS), provided under the National Programme for IT.”
Kelgray worked closely with the Wythenshawe Hospital to ensure that once the data was “bar coded,” it would interface with the PAS and display the data in all the right fields on the system. This would allow all authorized users to track and store patient data from any hospital PC.
“We were aware that the Wythenshawe Hospital had several systems storing all different sorts of notes. We wanted to centralize this data into one main record, which could then be brought up from any location inside the hospital,” Wildman added. “We configured the Gryphon readers to pick up all keyboard data and link it with the central IPM system as needed.”
Martin Hobson, IT Infrastructure Project Manager for Wythenshawe Hospital, explained, “The hospital now uses Datalogic bar code readers connected to the doctors’ and nurses’ PCs to scan codes on patient records. When this is done, the patient’s record is automatically updated. This completely eliminates the need for manual data entry, therefore reducing the possibility for life-threatening record errors.”
Hobson continued, “We chose Datalogic because of their reputation and the resilience of the Gryphon Desk readers. Datalogic and Kelgray did a great job supporting us with the programming of the readers. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
By improving the accuracy, availability and speed of data collection, hospitals can benefit from instant access to patient records, faster throughput and traceability of items such as samples and x-rays and other assets.
“Now we can track patients through their records on our Lorenzo IPM system correctly from admittance until the patient is fully discharged,” stated Hobson. “Until all patient health records and case notes are fully electronic, NHS trusts will need to utilize and track the current paper based system as efficiently as possible.”
The Wythenshawe also uses the Gryphon readers to manage the location and distribution of the paper based patient records around the trust. This prevents records from being ‘mislaid’, therefore providing more efficient patient care.
Hobson continued, “The reader itself filters two different types of bar codes so the information supplied to the application is correct. We would have had to manually re-label 10,000 patient records initially without a viable bar code solution, and eventually over 250,000 records. Re-labeling would have cost a fortune, so the readers have saved significant public money.”
The Wythenshawe Hospital is one of the first hospital trusts to integrate a bar code scanning solution into their IT infrastructure. Since installation of the Gryphon readers, the hospital is investigating ways in which the use of bar codes can be extended to include patient wristbands and lab work to improve overall tracking and patient safety.
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