About Damian Larkin
Damian is the Digital Health Nurse Lead at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust working as the link between the clinical system, information systems and digital services.
This involves engaging clinical staff to assess their needs and requirements, map their clinical workflows for the adoption and implementation of digital technology across the trust. This also includes reviewing current processes, highlighting areas of duplication, redundancy and opportunities for improved efficiencies in order to provide improved staff satisfaction.
Damian’s experience as a nurse allows him to see better ways of working and improving and he’s passionate about delivering safer care to all patients.
Problem: Medicines prescribing and administration. The current processes for medication prescribing and administration is entirely paper-based, labour-intensive, and as a result is vulnerable to errors such as poor handwriting; unclear abbreviations, and/or dosages; ambiguous records of medicines administration; and lost or misplaced paper charts. In addition, when prescriptions are phoned-in or scanned to pharmacy, misunderstood verbal instructions, vague orders and scanning-related problems cause more issues. This means patient safety can be compromised, alongside adverse drug events that can cause medical complications.
Solution: An Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (ePMA) system that is interoperable with the main clinical platform.
Scale: SLaM services cover 4 hospital sites consisting of 52 inpatient wards and 760 beds, 200 community teams and major addictions services across the boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Croydon, Bexley, Wandsworth and Lambeth.
Desired impact: To improve care and safety through a reduction in prescribing, dispensing, administration and transcription errors. It will also support clinicians to be better informed using clinical decision-support tools and able to manage medicines more effectively and efficiently. Patients will also benefit from an improved service and over time an electronic record of past medications and allergy history will build up. This will minimise the risk of patients receiving previously ineffective and unsafe medicines or those they cannot tolerate due to side effects.
Progress to date: The project has captured a list of ePMA requirements for inpatient and community teams through working closely with doctors, nurses and pharmacists involved, and mapping their current workflows in order to understand their needs before proceeding to procurement. It also established a steering group for the life of the project that engages all relevant stakeholders.