Making clinical informatics work

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6943.1573 (Published 11 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1573
  1. J W S Sheldon,
  2. J D Anderson
  1. Burton Hospitals NHS Trust, Burton upon Trent DE13 0RB.

    EDITOR, - We do not agree with Paul Lelliott's view that no existing hospital information system works.1 At Burton Hospitals NHS Trust we have a totally integrated hospital information support system, which has been operating since April 1992. It provides many benefits for patients' care and for the wide range of staff who use it. We have married clinical activity (except for the doctor's record) with electronic recording on a hospital-wide basis and are now looking towards including doctors' notes.

    Our system is clinically biased as it is used by all clinical staff; it also provides all the information needed for administration, management, and contracting as a byproduct. It is used by all junior medical staff, 98% of consultant staff, and nurses and other paramedical staff, and the demand for more terminals is a measure of its popularity. It is also used by managers and the contracting team. Our junior staff worry how they will manage at hospitals without the system.

    Our project was not financially supported by the centre; there was a heavy commitment from doctors and other clinical staff, all of whom helped to select and implement the system. This created the sense of ownership so necessary for the project to succeed.

    The system was supplied by MEDITECH, whose staff worked with us to provide the information system and have the insight to keep producing enhancements to get closer to the total electronic record talked about by so many.


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