Background and aims In December 2012 electronic prescribing (EP) and administration of medicines was introduced to the Trust (800 beds, 40 paediatric beds, 3 Paediatric HDU beds, 20 admissions/day) as a pilot – specifically to the Child Health Department – before general adoption across the Trust.
Methods Pre-implementation, training was thoroughly and carefully organised for 40 paediatricians, 60 nurses and 5 pharmacists. Training was face to face and then on-line with face to face support. Mobile computing devices were distributed to the ward areas. All in-patient paper prescriptions were transcribed to electronic systems and paper prescriptions were removed. Ward based 24 h pharmacist/nurse support was available for the first week.
Results All prescriptions were legible.
Antibiotic stewardship easily audited – prescriptions with stop/review date 50%/indication 33% vs. 86%/80% respectively after an educational programme in child health.
No paediatric patients have been given a medication to which they were known to be allergic after implementation of EP.
Dispensary error rates from electronic prescription orders reduced from 5.38/month to 1.5/month post-implementation.
Only 25% of paediatric staff would go back to paper prescriptions.
The system is now adopted across most of the Trust.
Conclusions Departmental involvement in planning was most important as was “buy-in” from the junior doctors and nursing staff. Well organised training for all staff, intensive and face-to-face, is felt to be essential. EP has been accepted and is a safer system which enables audit of practice down to individual levels. Outpatient use is planned in the future.