Chase Farm Hospital joins elite group of digital hospitals

11 June 2019

A global body has officially recognised Chase Farm Hospital (CFH), which was opened by HRH Duke of York last month, as one of the most digitally advanced hospitals in the UK.

The £200 million hospital, which opened in September 2018, has joined an elite group of UK healthcare organisations after it was given a brand-new rating by HIMSS Analytics® for the quality of the technology it employs.

CFH has achieved the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 6, an international benchmark for the use of advanced IT to improve patient care. Only two other NHS organisations have achieved this, and none have so far achieved stage 7, which is the highest possible rating.

CFH is part of the Royal Free London (RFL) group, which in 2016 was one of 16 trusts chosen by NHS England to pioneer new technology as part of its Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme. CFH's previous rating was HIMSS stage 2.

According to HIMSS criteria, stage 6 means that the trust has established clear goals for improving safety, minimising errors, and recognising the importance of healthcare IT. It also means that CFH, which is part of the Royal Free London (RFL) group, is on course to achieve stage 7 in the near future.

Dr Chris Streather, RFL group chief medical officer, said: “We are delighted that Chase Farm is one of the few NHS hospitals to have achieved a stage 6 rating - especially as we have been validated against the tougher criteria that have recently been introduced. 

“This is testament to the incredible vision and dedication of our staff who have embraced a new way of working, enabling us to deliver outstanding care to our patients. This digital approach is what the future of healthcare looks like and means a better experience for our patients and our staff. Now our aim is to further advance our use of technology so CFH can become a stage 7 hospital.”

Since the new hospital opened, CFH has been pioneering new technology so staff can deliver better, safer and more efficient care to patients. From self-check in kiosks to clinical staff using mobile devices to access patient information at the touch of a button, the new hospital and its staff are leading the way in revolutionising patient care.

Key to this transformation has been the introduction of a new electronic patient record (EPR) system – which has significantly reduced the volume of paper used by staff. It has created a  single digital patient record, which is available to all staff who need to access it, when and wherever they are. The new system has improved communication, documentation and care.

The hospital has also introduced new technologies including the Ascom mobile handset nurse call system, which enables patients to call a nurse without disturbing other patients.

In 2016, NHS England named the RFL as a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) - one of 16 digitally advanced acute trusts chosen to pioneer new technology. The trust provided £10m and received a further £10m from NHS England to fund new technology at the RFL.

HIMSS Analytics Regional Director for Europe and Latin America, John Rayner, said: “This hospital has made significant progress in such a short time. I was particularly impressed with the degree of device integration within the operating theatres and the anaesthetic facilities. All the clinicians that we spoke with on the day maintained that the benefits of using electronic patient records far outweighed any benefits of working with paper systems. I left with the impression that there is commitment at all levels within this organisation to use technology to improve patient safety and the overall quality of clinical care.” 

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMRAM in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. There are eight stages (0 – 7) that measure a hospital's implementation and utilization of information technology applications. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages, hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.