Microsoft technology is at the heart of another successful (and on-time) healthcare IT deployment, this time at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, and in the rapidly emerging field of e-prescribing.

Hospital pharmacies are an ideal target for improvement through technology, as:

  • Traditional paper prescriptions are prone to error, and the cost of those errors in patient wellbeing and financial overhead can be dramatic.
  • E-prescribing offers operational efficiencies, particularly when an end-to-end service manages information from bedside to pharmacy to recordkeeping in the Patient Administration System (PAS).
  • And e-prescribing is a strategically encouraging tool to deploy as it can deliver rapid initial benefits ahead of staged future expansions.

North Tees worked with leading clinical IT solutions provider and Microsoft 2012 Public Sector Partner of the Year, Ascribe, to deploy the company’s Web Pharmacy solution; built around Microsoft SQL. North Tees had previously used an earlier Ascribe Pharmacy system, but the updated system delivers greater scalability and more advanced reporting functionality.

Ascribe’s Web Pharmacy is a thin client, web-enabled solution, that performs quickly and enables Pharmacists and Pharmacy technicians to clinically check and dispense prescriptions throughout the hospital, from Dispensary to the patient’s bedside. The solution provides advanced reporting capabilities using Microsoft SQL and links into the Trust’s PAS, further ensuring improvements to operational efficiency and patient safety.

Head of Pharmacy & Quality Control Laboratory Services, Philip Dean said: “We needed a more robust clinical solution and Ascribe provides the industry standard for modern Hospital Pharmacy departments. We can see the benefits already, for instance the speed of the system, and we are really excited by the plans for the future in using the solution to improve patient care.” Indeed, this deployment is seen by the hospital as a foundation platform for further growth, towards a goal of trust-wide implementation of electronic prescribing.

Nick Saalfeld on behalf of Microsoft Health Team

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