Health Minister launches Northern Trust software systems

Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched two new hospital IT systems which will save patients’ lives through the effective use of antibiotics and other medicines.

Developed under the Health and Social Care Innovation Scheme by the Northern Trust, the two systems are the Live Automated Microbiology Pharmacy Surveillance System (LAMPS) and the Electronic Medicines Reconciliation System (EMRS).

Speaking at the launch in Antrim Area Hospital, the Minister said: “Medicines are the most common medical intervention within the Health and Social Care Service (HSC) and it is essential that we have systems which support their safe and optimal use so that patients receive the right medicine at the right time. This will not only help them return to good health more quickly, reducing the time spent in hospital, but can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.”

LAMPS seeks to improve patient outcomes through the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat infection. The system operates in real time in acute hospital and community settings to detect trends of antimicrobial resistant organisms. Monitoring trends enables appropriate and effective prescribing by clinicians and improves patient safety.

EMRS supports safe, effective medicine use throughout the inpatient journey allowing patients’ medication details to be recorded in a uniform way in real time without the need for paper records. This reduces the risk of error, improves patient safety and ensures patients are on the right medication to enable a quick recovery.

The Minister continued: “For many years my Department has supported pharmaceutical innovation and improvements in medicines management systems. I welcome today’s software launch which shows how technology can help improve patient safety and outcomes through the effective use of medicines. Embracing technology and adapting the way we do things will maintain Northern Ireland at the forefront of health and social care in the future.”

Prof Mike Scott, Head of Pharmacy for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said: “The Northern Trust is proud to be launching these new innovative systems which will improve safety, efficiency and patient outcomes and ultimately save patients’ lives.

“Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI’s) and their management are key concerns for all health and social care organisations. The LAMPS System allows effective monitoring and early detection of healthcare infections making the hospital a safer place for all.

“The Medicines Reconciliation System records patients’ medication reducing transcribing errors, improving patient safety and ensuring patients are on the right medication to enable a quick recovery.

“The Trust is delighted to have worked in partnership with Yarra Software to improve our services for patients and ensure Northern Ireland is at the forefront of innovation in health.”

13th March 2014

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