18 October 2019

New technology is being introduced to replace handwritten prescription charts across the Trust's mental health inpatient services in Bedfordshire and Luton.

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) is one of the first mental health trusts in the country introduce electronic prescribing and administration (ePMA).

The use of ePrescribing removes the need for handwritten prescriptions and dramatically reduces the risks of medication error.  It supports medicines optimisation and improves patient outcomes where medicines are used in treatment.

The system has been introduced across the Trust’s London services and is now being rolled out in Bedfordshire and Luton.

Dr Paul Gilluley, Chief Medical Officer for ELFT, said: "The move to ePrescribing means we can do away with paper prescription charts, nurses will not have to decipher illegible handwriting and drug information and clinical prescribing decision support will be readily available.”

He added: “It will save time, improve safety and bring about improved outcomes for patients.”

Benefits of ePrescribing:

  • All information on an electronic chart is legible and understanding what’s on the chart is not dependent on the neatness of doctors’ handwriting
  • No medication charts get lost or misplaced
  • Reduction in stationary costs
  • Remote prescribing, eliminating the cost of taxi journeys between Luton and Bedfordshire sites
  • Reduction in administration, transcribing and prescribing errors
  • More efficient medication rounds – saving time for nurses to have patient contact
  • More efficient pharmacy practice

The Trust’s Coral and Jade Wards in Calnwood Road at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital site were the first to use ePrescribing and the technology is being introduced across other sites in a phased project, which is expected to complete before the end of November.