(November 12th 2021) Innovation week at Tallaght University Hospital got off to a strong start with the introduction of an Electronic Patient Record called Synergy. Synergy will replace some of the Hospitals legacy end-of- life ICT systems and existing paper-based records and processes, enabling staff to access a single, reliable and integrated source of clinical information containing relevant patient details such as test results, medications, discharge summaries and other information associated with patients care.
Synergy is yet another example of the Hospitals overall innovative approach to supporting the delivery of healthcare with digital technologies, known within TUH as Digital Enabled Care, a core pillar of the Hospital’s Corporate Strategy.
This is the most significant change the Hospital has introduced in its 23 year history and has been years in planning. The Hospital has a number of legacy ICT systems requiring replacement and identified a number of information gaps. Coupled with this was the Hospital’s use of its own clinical specific ICT systems as well as national HSE ICT systems. There was also the sustainability of an ever increasing manual paper record to be considered. Having reviewed all the options, the Hospital decided against a major “rip and replace” with a single solution and opted to implement an interfaced EPR, utilising some of the existing ICT systems in place, continuing to implement speciality specific best of breed systems e.g. ICE Order Communications Results Reporting, ICNet Infection Control, Opera Centricity (Theatre) and interfacing them through an single EPR platform, to create a single view of the patient record “Synergy”. Evolve from Kainos offered TUH the EPR platform along with additional functionality to compliment the speciality specific ICT systems and presents a single view of the patient supported with document scanning functionality allowing TUH to replace its paper chart.
This marks the completion of phase I of our EPR programme. TUH has stated it’s EPR journey and we have ambitious plans to further enhance Synergy with planning already started for phases II and III. Once TUH’s Synergy rollout is complete, there is potential for the Synergy to be accessible within the community, GP’s and other services such as the onsite HSE Mental Health service enabling system-wide transformation and the delivery of truly integrated care.
As if implementing an EPR is not challenging enough, TUH had to do so in the midst of the global Covid pandemic and more recently the HSE Cyber Attack. David Wall, Chief Information Officer for TUH paid tribute to all the TUH staff involved in the EPR programme, “TUH staff have approached the implementation of Synergy with energy, commitment and focus which has directly contributed to the success of the programme” in what is an ever changing and challenging healthcare environment.
Commenting on the significant project Chief Executive, Lucy Nugent said “Synergy will improve TUH’s service delivery, clinical processes, informatics capabilities and work flow efficiencies, improving patient outcomes for those who attend TUH. Synergy will improve delivery, safety and quality of health care for all our patients through better access to information while protecting privacy and confidentiality of all information. It will provide a flexible and integrated process of care, and, using an evidence based approach, improve overall management of health resources and services across our Hospital”
Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr. Jason Carty commented on the positive changes Synergy will have for TUH. “Synergy offers TUH a major opportunity to transform the way we provide and deliver care to our patients. An additional benefit is that it will streamline workflows and processes which support care delivery and facilitate service user communication and information sharing between staff anytime anywhere and in time on any device.”
Ciara Blair Synergy Programme Manager commented “A Strategic project of this scale is always challenging but the clinical, technical and project management skill mix within the Synergy team has been a critical success factor. We look forward to continuing the delivery the benefits of Synergy for our patients and staff.”
Fran Thompson HSE Chief Information Officer said: “At the heart of Sláintecare is the development of a more population-based and integrated approach to service planning and care delivery which will facilitate “the right care, in the right place, at the right time, by the right person”. This investment in TUH will have positive implications for health outcomes, patient experience and health system sustainability for all the patients of the hospital and surrounding area."
Trevor O’Callaghan DMHG CEO commented “Investment in new technology that will benefit patient care and experience is fundamental to our strategic priorities. We are delighted to support Tallaght University Hospital as they enter into a new phase of healthcare supported by advances in technology and driven by their determination to deliver high quality patient care. The implementation of this system will mean patient health records are available instantly to those caring for a patient. Increased efficiencies mean patients will wait less time for their diagnoses, treatments and care. We are very excited to see the next phase of this innovative solution and the potential for it to support community integration and the delivery of a truly connected, seamless health service for our patients.”