Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration system
Mersey Care has been the first trust to use electronic prescribing in a high secure environment by implementing the JAC Electronic Prescribing & Medicines Administration (EPMA) system at Ashworth Hospital.
The benefits include:
More legible prescriptions;
Missed doses more easily spotted
Improved audit and research facilities.
Reduction in data entry,
The elimination of transcribing from paper and faxed requests from wards
Useful alerts to highlight the use of controlled drugs
Prescription errors have been reduced due to functionality such as nursing staff receiving colour coded lists, with changes to medication highlighted.
The system links to the JAC Pharmacy Stock Control system eliminating another transcription task.
Provides decision support using the Multilex Drug Data File provided by FirstDataBank Europe
Such innovation does not come without its challenges – for instance around mobilising the system and upgrading the WiFi in High Secure to enable EPMA’s use on trollies, in patient bedrooms and in Seclusion rooms. Locum staff have added to the training challenges. Mental Health Act requirements to have administrations witnessed, particularly where there is no consent, have required special changes to the system.
EPMA has been a great success, and plans are now being made to extend it to the rest of the inpatient areas in the trust. Future developments to the system include the addition of a common drug dictionary across systems (“DM+D”) so that staff can order medicines directly from patient record systems such as RiO.