NHS contractor CSC has signed an agreement with Canadian specialist firm Medusa Medical Technologies to equip ambulances with its Siren electronic patient care reporting and data management software.
CSC will roll the software out to ambulance trusts across the North, Midlands and East of England, where it is the lead contractor for the NHS’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT).
The software, designed to capture patients’ pre-hospital emergency data, will contribute to the creation of a single electronic patient record for each person – the key element of NPfIT.
The tie-up with Medusa will allow staff running more than 2,600 ambulances to capture an expected five million patient records each year electronically – replacing existing paper-based systems.
CSC plans to eventually integrate the Siren software with its other NHS systems, giving paramedics access to relevant information from each patient’s record so that the best course of emergency treatment can be determined.
The aim is to allow data from the Siren system, plus the results of any interventions by paramedic staff, to be transmitted ahead to hospital accident and emergency departments.
Dr John Scott, medical director at the East of England Ambulance trust, said: “This system allows us to capture quickly and accurately far more information than we ever could on paper. That information is then instantly available to the emergency department and clinical audit staff. As a result, the potential to improve patient outcomes is tremendous.”
But the announcement of the Medusa contract comes as relations between CSC and troubled software firm iSoft – which is subcontracted to provide its Lorenzo software as the core component of the electronic patient record system – hit a new low.
The software firm plans to take legal action against CSC after the IT services giant blocked its £140m sale to Australian software company IBA.
CSC said the sale would not support the successful delivery of the NPfIT Lorenzo contract, which is already running two years late.
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