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Royal Cornwall NHS Trust Rolls-out ‘First of its Kind’ Patient-level Resource Management System from COA Solutions

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is rolling-out a ‘first of its kind’ patient-level resource management (PRM) system from COA Solutions (formerly CedarOpenAccounts). This new system, which uses barcode scanning technology and is costing in the region of £75,000, replaces inefficient and costly paper-based stock management processes.

The new PRM system, developed following close collaboration between the Trust and COA Solutions, is currently being rolled-out across 20 of the Trust’s theatres. Once all theatres are live, it will be rolled-out to other high cost areas including the Clinical Imaging and Intensive Care Departments.

By providing instant costing and usage information on up to 4,000 product lines, the new PRM system will enable greater control over product requisitioning and expenditure. With up-to-the-minute stock information always to hand and by eliminating over-ordering and reducing wastage in addition to standardising on products and ease of reporting, the Trust is expecting to make significant savings.

Steve Renfree, Clinical Lead for Procurement at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, says “We required a solution that integrated with our existing EROS eProcurement system and could quickly and easily provide product information at a patient-level as well as at a theatre and surgeon level.”

Renfree continues, “The system needed to produce stock reports, automatically replenish products when they were getting low, allow us to analyse ordering trends and importantly, enable us to determine how much each procedure and each surgeon is costing the Trust to ensure we are cost effective. We couldn’t find a system on the market which fulfils these criteria and so decided to work with COA Solutions, the provider of our EROS system, to develop a suitable solution from scratch. It took just six months from the initial specification of the system through to the June 2008 go-live and we’re delighted by the results.”

Using PRM’s barcode technology, the serial number and cost of every product used on and implanted into a patient is scanned and recorded. This stored information, which can be accessed at a touch of a button, dramatically improves stock management, reducing wastage whilst enabling the Trust to more effectively monitor spend per patient and procedure. The system also provides quick and easy product traceability in the event of a product recall.

Renfree comments, “COA Solutions’ PRM system opens up tremendous possibilities for the Trust. Obtaining patient-level product information used to be time consuming. Using PRM, we can now quickly determine the exact cost of procedures so we can address areas where we are overspending.”

Renfree adds, “For the first time, we have an accurate view of stock levels across the Trust. In the past, theatres have paid for expensive overnight deliveries to obtain stock, which may have been available elsewhere in the Trust. Using PRM, we can instantly see which products are located where to avoid duplication and cut waste. As the system also automatically re-orders products at agreed stock levels, staff are freed-up to concentrate on more value-adding activities.”

In time, the Trust hopes to integrate COA Solutions’ PRM system with its theatre system, which monitors factors such as each patient’s length of time in the operating theatre and recovery room. This will determine a true patient-level costing as well as an overall cost for each area of the Trust.

Renfree says, “By using PRM with our theatre system and the introduction of the electronic patient record, we will be able to calculate exactly how much each patient and each hospital area is costing us at any given time. This is our ultimate goal, enabling us to run the Trust as cost-effectively and as efficiently as possible.”

Furthermore, PRM will support the Trust in its application to become a Foundation Trust. Providing accurate patient-level costing in key clinical areas supports the implementation of Service Line Management, which is a key requirement (as set-out by independent regulator, Monitor) for all Foundation Trust applications.


About COA Solutions Ltd

COA Solutions (formerly CedarOpenAccounts) is the UK's leading supplier of integrated business management and information systems to public, private and not-for-profit organisations in the service sector. COA Solutions prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their business needs.

COA Solutions' award-winning Smart Business Suite combines core financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions. These solutions extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, HR and payroll departments across the organisation and enable managers in the business to monitor, analyse and continually improve corporate performance.

COA Solutions has more than 500 experienced and professional staff supporting and servicing over 4,000 clients across the UK service sector including Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WHSmith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

About The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is a major acute Trust serving the majority of Cornwall. Established in April 1992, it comprises the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and St Michael's Hospital in Hayle.

The Trust serves a resident population of around 400,000 - a figure that can be more than doubled by holidaymakers during the busiest holiday periods. It sees more than 60,000 patients in its A&E and casualty departments and carries out more than 260,000 diagnostic imaging examinations each year. The Trust is one of only 14 nationally to be awarded a place in the CHKS 40 Top Hospitals programme.

COA Solutions Contacts:

Liz Ebbrell, COA Solutions

+44 (0)1625 856505 or 07917 634 705

Ben Carey, COA Solutions

+44 (0)1625 856505