North Cumbria Integrated Care deploys Better Meds ePMA

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust has rolled out a new e-prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) solution to eliminate the need for paper records and improve the consistency of patient care.

Working with CGI, an independent IT and business consulting services firm, and Better, North Cumbria Integrated Care has rolled out the Better Meds ePMA solution to all of its community hospital inpatient settings.

The digital system enables North Cumbria Integrated Care to deliver increased quality and consistency of care for its patients across the trust.

Paul Fieldhouse, clinical director of pharmacy at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new system is already transforming the way medicines are prescribed and administered across our hospitals. Of all our digital projects, e-Prescribing is the biggest step forward in patient safety.”

The solution facilitates the prescribing of medicines and the recording of its administration, plus supports pharmacy reconciliation and review exercises.

In addition, it enables the trust to store records electronically to allow for a more efficient way to maintain patient documents. Previously, the trust had been dependent on paper records.

Thanks to its ability to make it easier and simpler for prescribers to carry out their role, it has helped to reduce workloads too.

Donna Kelly, senior vice president at CGI in the UK, said: “Not only will the digitalisation increase the accuracy of prescribing for the patients within NCIC, but it will also improve the consistency of care, regardless of where in the county individuals are based.”

Initially, the Better Meds solution was piloted in the 15-bed Copeland Unit at West Cumberland Hospital. Since that August 2022 deployment, the trust has rapidly rolled out the solution to other wards and hospital sites.

To date, it’s been successfully extended to seven wards across six community hospital sites within the North Cumbria trust.

This year has seen a number of other NHS trusts also roll out the Better Meds ePMA solution. In March Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust selected Better for its prescribing solution while October saw Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust implement the ePMA.