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Electronic Palliative Care Solution

Dave Farr, Project Manager for St Catherine's Hospice, discusses the benefits of being able to actively share clinical records with providers of palliative care.

The challenge

St Catherine's Hospice serves a population of around 380,000 people across Chorley, Longridge, Preston and South Ribble. Services are provided by around 130 employees, with around 600 volunteers. The hospice has interventions with roughly 2,000 patients a year and can care for 19 patients in the bedded unit, with 20 day care places.

The hospice was mostly working with paper based notes, along with an electronic solution which was incapable of meeting the reporting requirements of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) for Specialist Palliative Care Services. Their data was reported to be either incorrect or incomplete.

Their solution wasn't fit for purpose, so they made the decision to deploy SystmOne Palliative Medicine Care Module. This also allowed them to support the local health community challenge to find new and innovative ways of working to help the NHS keep costs down, avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital and ensure timely discharges to community-based care. The hospice recognised that the use of TPP SystmOne Palliative Hospital could do this.

Benefits of using the Electronic Palliative Care Solution

SystmOne has ensured appropriate access to patient information at the right times, and improvements have been seen in several areas.

Effective care

Patients are no longer being admitted to hospital due to a lack of clinical information, or because their preferred place of care was not known. This has improved the patient experience.


Sharing information electronically with GP's, community services and other palliative care providers gives up-to-date clinical information from a range of services available, leading to safer, more effective care. This includes out-of-hours and urgent care services.

Accessing pathology results assists the provision of safer care, with the opportunity to provide the most appropriate treatment.


There have been a number of efficiency improvements and savings, including:

  • a time saving of 416 hours a year (non-cash releasing £7,466), through sharing data electronically, allowing the hospice to produce and send more letters without increasing staff numbers
  • electronic appointment functionality saves 416 hours per year (non-cash releasing £7,466)
  • avoiding duplication of demographic or clinical information saves 156 hours per year (non-cash releasing £2,000)
  • time saved sending nightly faxes or communications is over £1,500 per year
  • time saved not requesting information gives non-cash releasing savings of £3,333
  • time saved accessing pathology results gives non-cash releasing savings of £3,333

'I'd never used a computer before the system went in ... I found it easy, loved the shared record and the enhanced care it provided.' - Senior Sister

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