Maternity services in Doncaster and Bassetlaw have won £444,000 of government funding for a new information system that will dramatically increase the amount of time midwives can spend caring for women rather than doing paperwork.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has estimated that a staggering 12,483 hours a year of midwives’ time could be freed up by the new software, which is being part funded by the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund.
The software will replace the current system under which midwives handwrite all their clinical notes on paper forms and then have to input them manually into an electronic system.
This double-entry takes a considerable amount of midwives’ time and, because Evolution doesn’t integrate easily with other hospital systems such as laboratory results, staff can end up having to log in and out of different computer programmes to access or enter the relevant information.
The new computer system will be fully electronic and web-based so that hospital and community midwives can enter information straight away instead of writing paper records. It will be integrated with other hospital IT systems to provide an electronic maternity record with all the clinical notes relating to each woman’s care.
Deirdre Fowler, Head of Midwifery at Doncaster at Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our bid for this funding has been successful. It will totally transform the way midwives work, enabling them to spend much more of their time caring for women having babies and working with families, rather than on paperwork.
“It will also enable us to improve the service by giving mothers access to online records. A further benefit is that it will provide better, more complete clinical data that will improve our ability to audit and strengthen the safety and quality of our maternity care.”