Patricia Guilfoyle, Elaine Shanahan, Declan Lyons, Catherine Peters, Margaret O’Connor
Univeristy Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Background: Our department has used digital patient management systems since 1997.
In 2014 we instituted a program integrating all current systems, collectively referred to as
ePMS. The system was developed within the department by clinicians and has become an
integral part of clinical practice, from the admission process to the ongoing management
of patients and the development of a discharge summary. This study reports on the
impact this system has had on overall efficiency of patient management.
Methods: The proportion of letters completed from 10th February 2015 to 10th April
2016 (post ePMS) was compared to those completed from 1st October 2013 to 31st
December 2014 (pre ePMS) for a single Geriatric service. A visual analogue scale (0-10
with 5 being neutral), was used to rate doctors’ perceived benefit of ePMS in terms of
efficiency of post-take handover and post-take ward round, quality of and ease of generating
discharge letters and overall benefit to the ease of patient management from admission
Results: From 2013-2014 35% of 1106 admission had completed electronic discharges.
Since the introduction of ePMS 98.6% of 1321 admissions had a completed discharge letter.
Using a visual analogue scale to assess the value of ePMS the post-take handover was
felt to be 12% more beneficial than the standard paper based system. The conduct of the
post-take round and the generation of discharge letters were both 80% more efficient
with ePMS and the overall efficiency of patient management from admission to discharge
was improved by 50% with ePMS.
Conclusions: Preliminary data following the introduction of ePMS indicates significant
advantage in terms of production of discharge summaries which are a key step in the
transfer of data from hospital to primary care. It also suggests a digitally driven handover
and post-take ward round is more efficient for doctors.