On 16 February 2010, the Department of Neurology at Ahus initiated a pilot project using DIPS Medication (prescriptions and administration) and DIPS Panorama Clinical Chart (electronic charts). The purpose of the pilot project was to test the products’ functionality in day-to-day work and to achieve part of the goal of having a fully automated medication chain. The pilot project lasted until the end of April, after which the products were installed in the department.
Project manager Hilde Tangen Larsen at Ahus says: ‘We started using both modules at the same time, as one was dependent on the other. The process of putting them into operation went surprisingly well. Good preparation on the part of both the project and the department was an important success factor. The project’s impression is that the users think the system largely works well and that it is easy to use and understand. Some functions are lacking, for example a blood sugar curve and registration of tubes and drains. We solved this by using support sheets.’
During the process of commissioning the products, the project at Ahus, consultants and developers in DIPS cooperated closely to evaluate progress on a continuous basis and to receive input on how to improve the products:
‘We received good follow-up from DIPS during commissioning of the products. We had already cooperated on functionality with DIPS for a long time, and the start-up of the pilot project was the final “test”. During the pilot project period, we had weekly evaluation meetings at which DIPS was present. This was an important forum where users could provide input on improvement and development of new functions directly to the developers,’ says Ms Tangen Larsen.
The project manager stresses the importance of the project having strong support among managers and future users of the system. The introduction projects must involve users, and users must be allowed to participate in the planning. ‘The introduction of electronic charts includes many users, and it is a tool they frequently use. The DIPS Medication and DIPS Panorama Clinical Chart systems offer many possibilities. By including users, it is easier to facilitate the most efficient use of the system and provide instructions to this end. We spent a lot of time mapping workflows and patient flows. This was the basis for limiting the pilot patient group and the workflow procedures. The fact that some people still work on paper while others work electronically is a challenge, and it is therefore important to establish clear procedures.'
The department that has started using DIPS Medication and DIPS Panorama Clinical Chart has experienced the benefits of using the products, according to Ms Tangen Larsen: It is a great advantage that patients' charts are available to several users at the same time and from anywhere in the hospital.’ Ms Tangen Larsen has the following advice for enterprises that wish to start using the products: ‘It is important to follow up the users closely during the initial period, as this will make the users feel more secure.’ She also stresses the importance of thoroughly mapping the patient flow and the workflow so that the organisation can draw up clear procedures for workflows.
As of today, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Orthopaedics, the Department of Gynaecology and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology have started using DIPS Medication and DIPS Panorama Clinical Chart. Ms Tangen Larsen says that they have plans to introduce the systems in the rest of the Surgical Division and the Medical Division in 2011 and then in the Youth and children’s clinic in early 2012.