Tuesday, 04 February, 2014

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust has launched an Electronic Referral Information Sharing System (ERISS) which is available to all health and social care providers across the North West.  ERISS has been developed by NWAS to enhance communications between the Trust and other NHS organisations throughout the North West, to improve patient care and outcomes.

ERISS delivers two key functions; referral processing and alert request management. For example, when an ambulance crew or Paramedic respond to a 999 call and, after assessment or treatment, the patient does not need to go hospital, they can check which referral pathways are available within that area. A referral can be created which alerts the patients care provider.

Patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Diabetes, fall frequently or have safeguarding needs, are all potential for referral to their appropriate healthcare professional or community teams in their area. Referrals are securely managed within ERISS, which provides reporting capabilities and ensures all referrals are followed-up.

In addition, ERISS provides GPs with the ability to 'Alert' ambulance crews and paramedics, when responding to an emergency call, to the existence of an individual care plan for specific patients or highlight medical conditions. ERISS will remind GPs when an alert is due to expire, prompting them to review patient history and set a new alert, if required.

Steve Barnard, NWAS Head of Clinical Governance explained: “ERISS is a secure, easy to use and intuitive system for clinicians and healthcare professionals, throughout the NHS network. It acts as a single point of access when sharing patient information. The system supports improved Information Governance whilst reinforcing review cycles and strengthening data quality through automated reminders. As an emergency service, North West Ambulance Service has developed ERISS as a reliable, secure and technologically advanced system which enables our clinicians to access valuable patient information en route to a patient.

This enables and supports informed clinical decision making when assessing and treating the patient, in order to deliver safe care closer to home and avoid unnecessary admission to hospital, for those patients with long term or identified care needs”.

For Further information about ERISS, please visit: www.eriss.nhs.uk

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