Digital projects handed £5m funding boost

Back of a space grey iPad on a black background

Plans are in place to issue all 3,500 of our frontline staff with a personal iPad to make it easier to complete mandatory training and access clinical information and any other resources they may need while they are out on the road.

The roll out, which is due to begin later this year, will take place after EEAST was awarded £5m in national funding to drive digital transformation projects to further improve the safety and quality of the care we are able to provide to patients.

The funding will also help us replace our dated electronic patient care record system (EPR) with a modern, flexible and fully integrated system which will allow staff to share information easily and securely with healthcare partners. Staff will be able to view the EPR on their iPad by 2021, giving them access to a full patient history and information about test results and medications.

The technology will also reduce the handover time at hospital emergency departments by around five minutes. As we currently hand over 750,000 patients each year, this will free up an estimated 1,680 days, in turn helping crews to get back on the road more quickly.

EEAST was awarded the funding after it became one of just 24 trusts, and the only ambulance service, to be named as a pilot site for a new digital aspirant programme, run by NHSX. It will be used over the next two years to help us move towards our goal of becoming paperless by 2023/24 by modernising technology and speeding up a range of digital projects already taking place.

In addition to the iPads and EPR, we will also:

  • Replace our network with a modern Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), which will give care homes and all NHS organisations – including GP surgeries, acute hospitals and community services – the chance to exchange electronic information reliably and efficiently. This will reduce duplication and improve the experience which patients have when receiving care as they will only need to tell their story once.
  • Replace our existing telephone system with an internet-based system which will be faster, more reliable, have greater resilience and provide better value for money.
  • Introduce a ‘cloud-first’ environment, including Office365 for all staff

Stephen Bromhall, Chief Information Officer, said: “We are delighted to named as a pilot site for the digital aspirant programme. It gives us a real opportunity to lead the way as the NHS moves towards the government’s aim of becoming paperless within the coming years by making better use of technology.

“The funding will help us accelerate several exciting projects which will benefit our patients and crews by allowing them to share information with other NHS organisations easily and securely. Not only will this improve efficiency, but also help us shave valuable minutes off hospital handover times.

“We will be sharing our learning and best practice with others from across the country as our initiatives progress so that they can begin their own projects to benefit patients.”

Published 18th August 2020

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