PERFORMANCE: Chesterfield Royal Hospital FT says the introduction of electronic prescribing across the hospital will help improve patient safety.

The system is now up and running on all surgical, orthopaedic and medical wards as well as in theatres after being tested on one ward.

All remaining wards are due to be included before the end of the year.

The hospital is the first in the East Midlands to fully implement electronic prescribing, with fewer than 20 hospitals in England currently making the move.

Martin Shepherd, head of medicines management and a member of the project board that has overseen the introduction of the new system, said it helped reduced the risk of errors.

“It is widely recognised that electronic prescribing systems improve the legibility of prescriptions and remove the possibility of prescriptions being misplaced or lost,” he said.

“So far we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from staff and are commencing a number of projects to look at what improvements the system has made to the prescribing and administration of medicines,” he added.

The system can be accessed through the hospital network on a personal computer or using a mobile “cart” with about four carts available in each ward.

Mr Shepherd said the new system, which uses wireless mobile technology, also meant data such as lab results and photos was available to clinical staff at patients’ bedsides.