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9 August 2016, 07:53
iPads are set to be given to ambulance crews across Kent after a successful trial of paramedics using them in Thanet.
South East Coast Ambulance Trust says it found the electronic Patient Clinical Record (ePCR) pilot project in which clinicians are personally issued with iPads enables crews to complete patient records electronically, streamlining communication with hospitals, as well as saving on paper and time.
To date 20 staff in Thanet have been using the iPads and have now completed more than 1,000 ePCRs as part of the extended testing and rollout process. Over the coming weeks and months the iPads will be issued to a further approximately 200 clinicians.
The project has been continually assessed and improved since its' operational launch in October 2015 with an improved software version deployed recently.
SECAmb paramedic Mike Earl was the first paramedics to use the iPad and ePCR application. He said: "This is a really worthwhile innovation. The quality of the documentation is much better and more legible.
"With it being electronic there are no constraints to a text box and you can write as much as you like without the need to fill in a continuation sheet as you would have to with the paper system.
"It's also of benefit that data can be captured and audited instantly and although we're in the early stages it's also been well received by our hospital colleagues. Staff also like the fact that with the software operated on an iPad, the equipment is multi-functional."
The scheme is expected to next roll-out across SECAmb's Ashford operational area in Kent and eventually throughout the rest of the Trust's region.
Head of SECAmb IT Mark Chivers said: "This is an important project for the Trust. Not only does it improve patient care and efficiency but it also takes us forward on our mission to be digitally mature."
"The iPad is intuitive and the clinicians use it not just for the ePCRs but also for messaging, web browsing and more, while keeping data safe utilizing the iOS' inherent security strengths."
SECAmb is currently the only ambulance Trust in the UK using iPads for its clinical records. A bold decision that has drawn considerable interest from other UK Trusts, especially because a corporately owned, personally enabled policy was adopted.
This has ensured the device is multi-functional for clinicians and will open up avenues for further use and development in the future.