RD&E Goes Live with ‘Game Changing’ Transformation Programme this Weekend
7 Oct 2020
At 4am on Saturday 10th October the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) goes live with MY CARE: the biggest clinical transformation programme the RD&E has ever undertaken.
This will herald the culmination of two and a half years work to improve how services are delivered at the Trust, in a way that will enable improved, safer and better quality care for patients. Central to this transformation is the introduction of a new, comprehensive electronic patient record (EPR) system, supplied by renowned health software developers Epic.
Suzanne Tracey, RD&E Chief Executive said, “MY CARE is the first programme in England to go live with Epic in both an acute hospital and in community-based health services so I am really proud that Devon will achieve this important digital milestone for the NHS.
“Our new EPR is set to replace traditional paper patient notes and means for the first time, every aspect of a person’s care will be recorded in real time. Our staff will no longer have to log-in to multiple computer systems, complete numerous paper documents and duplicate forms - meaning they will have more time to spend delivering care for patients.
“Over the coming months we will gradually roll out our new patient portal, called MY CARE, which provides patients, or someone they nominate, the ability to view their own care record anywhere and anytime via laptop, home computer or smartphone. The portal means they can see their upcoming appointments, change appointment times and see a range of results.
“I do, though, want to reassure patients that might be concerned or anxious about using new technology, or who don’t have access, that we will continue to use paper communications for patients who don’t use the portal.”
The MY CARE Programme go-live comes at a critical time as the RD&E focuses on restoring services and preparing for any potential second spike in COVID-19 infections over the coming weeks. MY CARE will support this effort by making remote consultations easier and speeding up the process of COVID testing, through its real-time monitoring capacity.
Prof Adrian Harris, RD&E Medical Director and Joint Senior Responsible Officer for MY CARE, said, “Launching MY CARE in the midst of a global pandemic has been challenging, and while there is never going to be a perfect time to go live, the fact is MY CARE is a game changer for the RD&E. Going live now allows us to put in place this vital technology to help us manage what is likely to be a difficult winter, as we deal with the usual seasonal flu alongside a likely further surge in COVID-19 numbers.
“As you would expect, the Trust has put in place safeguards to ensure that throughout the go-live period patient safety is maintained and disruption to patients is minimised. We are going live at 4am to ensure hospital activity is as quiet as possible for the technical switch-on.
We have trained over 1000 clinical and administrative ‘Super Users’ to assist colleagues during the go-live period. The RD&E has also been working with partner organisations to minimise admissions and expedite discharges during this time.
“As with all programmes of this scale, it is possible that patients may experience some delays in the period running up to the go-live date and for a few weeks afterward. We would ask that patients please bear with us as our staff get used to the new ways of working. Patient safety will remain the top priority during this time and our staff will all be working hard to keep any disruption to a minimum.
"Thank you to all the staff who have worked so hard on MY CARE and made this possible.”