Musgrove Park Hospital’s IT success goes global

Musgrove Park Hospital has been named by the Government as a ‘global exemplar’ – setting the standard for the NHS to move at speed into the electronic age.

It is one of 12 hospital trusts in England that was named on Wednesday 7 September by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to blaze a trail when it comes to using digital technology in innovative ways, to make a real difference to patient care.

In future, Somerset patients will be able to go online for a whole range of health needs, getting access to their hospital test results, for example, at the touch of a button on their tablet or smartphone. They will also have a variety of apps for monitoring their own health.

The accolade for Musgrove comes with Government funding of up to £10million, offered to the hospitals to help them make really rapid progress over the next two years.

Musgrove Park introduced a new electronic patient record last year, as the first step in a much bigger programme to get rid of paper by 2018 and join up computer systems across the whole healthcare community in Somerset. It is also developing a wide range of user-friendly apps, so that people can get help and support in managing their own care more easily.

Dr Sam Barrell, chief executive, said: “We are thrilled that Musgrove has been chosen for this programme. We want our patients to have the best, joined-up care – and that can only happen if we join up digitally across the whole healthcare system.

“GPs will be able to see what has happened to their patients while they’re in hospital, and if our clinicians have vital information at their fingertips, it will really help them in making the best decisions for every patient.

“We know that people in Somerset go online for their shopping, to book holidays and do their banking. This is a chance for the NHS to catch up, and make access just as easy.” For its digital programme, Musgrove used openMAXIMS, the UK’s first open source electronic patient record, supplied by pioneering software company IMS MAXIMS. This gave Musgrove access to £45 million worth of software development without the need for a licence fee. The technology, which has been created with clinicians over 30 years, also gave the trust more control than an off-the- peg solution, allowing it to tailor the system to local needs and make improvements swiftly.

Shane Tickell, chief executive of IMS MAXIMS, said: “We are absolutely delighted for Musgrove Park. They are pioneers in digital transformation and their success signifies a new era in the way in which healthcare professionals can use technology to care for their patients.

“Musgrove has achieved a significant amount in the 12 months since the deployment of openMAXIMS. The recognition and funding from Government ensures that together, we can continue our journey to deliver safer, better and more accessible care in Somerset, at scale and pace.”

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