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Apollo – a new electronic health record

Light blue Apollo - no strapline

Who are we?

We are a partnership, working together to deliver the very best in patient care across south east London.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (due to merge with Guy's and St Thomas' from 1 February), together with King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be delivering a truly transformative programme of work for our patients.

We are passionate about providing the best possible care and supporting all of our staff to work efficiently, so that they have more time to spend with our patients. This is why we're embarking on a journey to transform the way we deliver patient care through the Apollo programme.

The programme will deliver an electronic health record (EHR) system as well as a number of supportive technologies, replacing paper documentation, joining up patient records and making these easily accessible for our clinicians at the point of care.

This is not just about new technology but changing the way in which we work and care for our patients every day. We want to empower our patients by providing them with better information and to create a modern digital working experience for our workforce.

What is Apollo?

  • Apollo video transcript

    Beverly Bryant, chief digital information officer: Let me tell you about the Apollo programme. Guy’s and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and Royal Brompton and Harefield are all coming together to implement Epic. It's an extremely exciting and ambitious programme of work. We're going to completely transform the way we work and the way that we care for patients.

    We currently use a number of IT systems and paper records to log the information about the patient and to retrieve information, and this is not the best use of our clinicians' time, having to log in and out of different systems. We're going to be working with Epic to implement one source of information; we call it an EHR or an electronic health record. There will be one record and everything they need to do to help manage and care for patients will be done through this one system.

    Khola Khan, lead pharmacist – innovation and improvement: Every single person who's involved in a patient's care will have access to the patient record, whether the patient's in hospital, in a community clinic or in their own home.

    Ugo Ogbonna-Godfrey, maternity matron: We will have more time to spend with the patient and a complete overview of their care.

    Beverly Bryant: We want to give our staff a modern digital experience that really helps them to give the best possible quality of care they can to their patients.

    We're also going to be empowering our patients through the implementation of a new secure patient portal. This will allow patients to gain access to their medical records, to book and manage their appointments, and also engage in the management of their health with their clinicians.

    Khola Khan: Having a single, reliable and accessible source of information for every single one of our patients will help us deliver the very best in personalised and safe care.

    Ugo Ogbonna-Godfrey: We will be able to easily see whether a patient is at greater risk of having a fall or a pressure ulcer and be able to put the right plan in place.

    Khola Khan: And when patients leave hospital, we can manage their follow-up care much better.

    Beverly Bryant: The potential to implement Epic across the three organisations gives us an opportunity to reimagine the clinical workflows and really change the experience for all our staff and our patients. I am really looking forward to giving those staff and the patients the platform that they deserve.

 

Apollo will be the most ambitious programme of clinical pathway transformation we have undertaken. Powered by Epic software, a new EHR will replace many of the systems we currently use with a single, integrated and comprehensive source of information. We are aiming for a target launch date of April 2023.

We are calling the implementation of our EHR programme Apollo for many reasons:

  • Apollo reflects our ambition: the programme will include Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals – following our merger in February – as well as King's College Hospital. It will include more specialist services than any other UK Epic implementation to date, as well as our community services

  • Apollo reflects the task at hand: Epic will transform the way that all our staff work. At the right time every one of us will have a role to play in successful implementation that will extend into all corners of the organisation. Just like the story of the cleaner at NASA who, when asked what he did, said: "I'm putting a man on the moon". This is about a whole team effort on a huge scale.

  • Apollo reflects the difference we'll make: from going live in April 2023, Epic will transform the way that our services are delivered and how our patients engage with us and get involved in their healthcare. It will bring unique opportunities for research from basic science, through better data capture, to patient-driven service improvements and greater efficiency.

Staff will be able to access the information they need more efficiently so that they spend more time with our patients. This change will also help patients to play a more active role in their health as a partner in their own care. They'll be able to securely access their patient record from the comfort of their home and staff will have access to patient records at the click of a button from any location.

The programme will not only deliver our new Epic EHR system but will help to improve and implement other new technologies. We will be investing in a significant upgrade to our core network, integrating medical devices, introducing speech recognition technologies and intuitive reporting solutions.

We are currently seeking a diverse team of staff to help guide us through this change and make our transformation a success. This is a great opportunity to join us and be part of the Apollo journey. If you are interested, please visit our recruitment page for more information.

Frequently asked questions

How will a new EHR benefit our patients?

Putting our patients first is a key part of our values as a Trust and their quality of care and safety underpins everything that we do. Joined up and integrated patient records will help our staff work with our patients to achieve better health outcomes and mitigates risks to patient safety.

We are also acutely aware of the service our patients rightly expect from us in a growing digital world. Patients have told us in the past that they have found getting in touch with their care teams challenging and with the patient portal we will be able to greatly improve this.

The portal will also allow patients to play a more active role in their health as a partner in their own care. Patients will be able to securely access their record from the comfort of their home and communicate with those providing their care.

How will a new EHR benefit our staff?

A new EHR system will improve the way we work, making us more efficient and able to spend more time with our patients. Staff will have access to patient records at the click of a button in any setting whether they are in a clinic, on a ward or at a patient’s home.

The EHR will consolidate a number of existing systems and in some cases integrate with others to reduce the number of log-ins.  The system will also reduce the amount of information manually entered with streamlined data entry, medical device integration and voice technology.

We will not only have access to the information we need but will have powerful analytics and reporting tools to support management of services. This will support us in reducing our waiting times for diagnosis, treatment and discharge.

What is Epic?

Epic is a US-based provider of electronic health records and other healthcare applications. It is used in some of the best hospitals around the world, as well as in the UK. Epic has been implemented in Cambridge University Hospital Trust, University College London, Great Ormond Street and Royal Devon and Exeter. Other Trusts in the UK have also selected Epic and will be going live over the next couple of years. This includes Northern Ireland Health and Social Care, Manchester University Trust and Frimley Park Hospital Trust.

How do I find out more?

We will be updating this webpage regularly and ahead of going live in April 2023 and we will make sure both patients and staff know what to expect.

How do I get in touch?

For general enquiries on the programme please email apollo@gstt.nhs.uk or for recruitment please email apollorecruitment@gstt.nhs.uk

Will you join us?

We are looking for people to join our patient panel and help us build our exciting new digital system. We want to hear from you if you:

  • have been a patient at Guy's and St Thomas', Royal Brompton and Harefield and King's College Hospitals within the last 5 years
  • have an interest in technology in healthcare – you don't need to be confident using computers
  • are aged 16 years or over

For more information please visit our Apollo patient engagement page.