Case Study: Cardiff And Vale University Health Board Writes Its 10 Millionth Case Note

Jul 16, 2015

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has written its ten millionth case note on its Paris electronic patient record (EPR) system provided by specialist systems supplier Civica.  

The NHS organisation is responsible for providing both regional and national care services across Wales; it is one of the largest UK health providers, serving around 450,000 patients with 15,000 employees and a £1.4bn budget.  

Cardiff and Vale also acts as a community mental health services hub and it is within this area of health and care where the mobilisation of the Paris EPR has been of great advantage.  

We at 24N decided to catch up with Mark Cahalane, programme manager at the Health Board, to learn more about what this historic milestone means for the organisation and the benefits Civica has brought to the table.  


The Business Problem 

The Health Board first began working with Civica and the Paris system over ten years ago in 2004. A central EPR was required as the existing paper-based system was just too disjointed. 

Paper files were often spread across different locations, meaning clinicians often did not have access to key information or a complete picture of patients they were going to visit.  

In a community mental health setting, this could often end up being very dangerous for health workers and their patients.  

Cahalane told us the working environment for community mental health workers was very disjointed, communication within teams was difficult, never mind with other departments and most often there was only fairly limited information available.  


Solving The Problem 

After a formal procurement process, Cardiff and Vale opted for Civica because it promised capabilities that other solutions available simply couldn't.  

Clinical teams were very much involved during the procurement process and those who would actually have to use Paris were giving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the product.  

According to Cahalane, one of the main advantages that Paris offered was the availability of user design forms, which allowed for the creation of bespoke solutions for each team. 


The Results 

The Civica Paris EPR system has become so embedded into day-to-day workings at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board that more than ten million case notes have now been written. 

Such a volume of case notes could not have been achieved without staff being happy to use the system and having the confidence to do so.  

Cahalane told 24N that Paris has played an integral part in helping staff feel like they are safe to go to work again. 

He also explained that using an EPR, particularly one that can be accessed and updated on the go, has greatly improved patient care as well.  

The mobile aspect of Paris means that clinicians can access and update patient information on the move, allowing them to spend more time with patients. It also keeps patients away from hospital which is good news for both the NHS and the patients themselves.  

The Civica system has also been instrumental in helping the NHS body work towards the goal of becoming paperless by 2018. 

Since the Board began using an EPR, Cahalane estimates just 8-10% of records are now being kept on paper. In addition to this, teams are writing 7000-8000 case notes electronically a day.  

Cahalane concluded that the aspirations the Health Board has when it first procured the Civica solution have been completely exceeded because it offers much more capability than they initially imagined.  



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