The Christie advances its openEHR data strategy with Better Meds ePMA contract

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has selected Better Meds for its electronic prescribing and medicines administrations (ePMA) solution. This follows the successful implementation of Better’s digital health platform and low-code studio at the trust.

The procurement marks the latest advancement of the trust’s bid to move to a new data-centric model with openEHR standards at its core. The strategy involves modernising systems from a previous siloed-state where data is locked within applications to a data archetype model which facilitates a patient-centric approach.

The Christie is Europe’s largest single-site cancer centre. It serves a population of over 3.2m people, treats 60,000 patients each year. It is a research-intensive institution and, as such, the integrity of, and access to, timely data is critical. This, in combination with the drive for all trusts to implement ePMA meant that adoption of an ePMA solution is a key priority.

Alistair Reid-Pearson, Chief Information Officer at The Christie, said: “Digitally enabling clinical services is the primary mission in our Digital Strategy. We needed a module that could level up our core capabilities whilst also plugging into our openEHR data platform. The data-centric approach to continuously improve clinical outcomes is pivotal to the strategy.”

Vanessa Clay, Clinical Director for Acute & Support Services at The Christie, said: “Having a system that is easy to use and lowers the training requirements was a central objective of the selection process. Implementing an intuitive web-based system, that makes it as easy as possible for clinicians, is going to be a key principle of the project going forwards and from the outset.

Damian Child, Chief Pharmacist at The Christie, said: “We selected Better Meds as we wanted a system that provided core prescribing capabilities, but careful consideration was also given to future capabilities. One example includes secondary care Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) connectivity which allows prescriptions to be sent digitally to community pharmacists.”

The Better Meds solution is built on the Better openEHR platform which underpins the trust’s in-house electronic health record (EHR). It will facilitate a seamless embedded user interface with clinical staff able to access the medications from within the EHR providing a better user experience and increased efficiency.

The project also plans to integrate the trust’s chemotherapy prescribing system into the Better digital health platform. iQHealthTech, the supplier of iQemo, have committed to move to openEHR storage standards for key clinical data items. This will facilitate a single source of truth for allergies, height, weight and prescribing data, which aims to give clinicians a complete patient overview and enable sharing between modules.

Adrian Aggett, Client Director, Better UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by The Christie to provide our award-winning Better Meds ePMA solution. This latest contract will enable us to support The Christie as it continues to progress its openEHR digital strategy which will provide multiple benefits including better access to data and information, faster decision-making, and more efficient management. Through our ePMA solution, we are committed to supporting The Christie to safely digitise its prescription processes whilst also providing improved access to data via the Better Meds integration with the trust’s in-house EPR and other systems.” 

The Christie contract is the latest in a series of contact wins for Better, with Better Meds now live in seven NHS trusts featuring rapid implementations for the Better Team, and their implementation partners. South Tees, Oxford Health, South London & Maudsley, and North Cumbria have all gone live within the last six-months. 

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