Lancashire Care Foundation Trust and the Digital Agenda

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    LSCFT and the Digital Agenda

    LSCFT is committed to making the best use of technology to deliver healthcare in the 21st Century. We have a large Health Informatics/IT department, as well as a Chief Clinical Information Officer, Dr Ayesha Rahim who is the senior clinician responsible for clinical engagement in Health Informatics projects. LSCFT has been identified as one of a small number of British mental health trusts who are particularly digitally advanced and is part of a national scheme (Global Digital Exemplars) to accelerate the UK digital healthcare agenda.

    We have recently signed off our 5 year Health Informatics strategy which includes an exciting project to roll-out our new Electronic Patient Record (EPR), “RiO” over the next two to three years. This will replace our longstanding existing EPR and will bring greater functionality for staff improving the efficiency of our care. All our mental health records are therefore electronic, and use of paper-based notes is minimal.

    We also have a well-embedded Electronic Prescribing system on all of our in-patient units which has eliminated certain categories of drug error, and has resulted in a 25% reduction in Serious Incidents related to unrecorded medication doses to patients.

    Also on our in-patient units is the Nerve Centre system. This allows nursing staff to conduct many of their assessments such as physical health observations (BP, pulse, temperature) to be recorded electronically at the bedside. Doctors can therefore be automatically alerted when a patient’s vital signs deteriorate to a level which requires medical input.

    Trust staff frequently use Skype for Business to dial into meetings where face-to-face attendance is not possible. Currently this is mainly utilised for management meetings, though use of remote consultations for clinical contacts is also being explored.

    We are also keen to promote other innovative use of technology in LSCFT such as the use of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence in delivering psychotherapies, the use of smartphone apps for patients to promote self-care for common mental health conditions, and the use of tablet devices on our older adult mental health in-patient wards to engage patients in meaningful activity and occupational therapy using technology.

    For more information about our Trust’s digital health plan, please see our short animated video below: