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New partnership to improve patient safety in South East London ICS

I am delighted to announce a ground-breaking development partnership with leading automated medication management and supply solution specialists Omnicell to transform the way hospital inventory is managed in the UK and potentially further afield. Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust will work with Omnicell to develop a European technology-enabled inventory optimisation and intelligence service which will be initially implemented across South East London Integrated Care System (ICS).

Efficient management of medicine and hospital supplies has always been essential for us, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has only added to the importance of highly efficient medication and medical inventory management. We are confident that with our NHS Experience and Omnicell’s industry knowledge, together we will be able to build valuable learning and intelligence using AI and machine learning for our reporting systems, live dashboarding and action planning to support patient safety and drive efficiencies.

This partnership will encompass all six acute hospital sites within the South East London ICS, including Guy’s & St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust.

We are about to embark on the first year of this three-year development project with Omnicell, where we will work to achieve the following goals for our hospitals:

The hospitals within the ICS are already using elements of Omnicell’s supply and medication dispensing systems to manage inventory and medication, but this expansion means we will have just one Inventory Management Solution across the ICS. This will include a technology-enabled intelligence centre based at Guy’s & St Thomas’ which will deliver advanced analytics across all the ICS hospitals, providing total visibility in order to improve efficiency and patient safety in the region.

This cloud-based system centred on intelligence, automation and technology-enabled services will leverage the latest AI tools to provide us with real time analytic support and system optimisation. This will reduce the risk of dispensing errors/never events and ensure that all products are at the right place at the right time. In addition, having a clear view of usage patterns will provide us with the data we need to make more informed buying decisions which will in in turn cut unnecessary, costly wastage.  

The ICS serves 1.9 million patients across the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, so we are excited about how this project will positively impact people’s experience with our healthcare services. This project is part of the ICS’ initiative to re-design care and improve population health through shared leadership and collective action, in partnership with local councils and care and health organisations.

Furthermore, we hope that as a result of developing this technology across these six sites, our thousands of dedicated front-line clinical staff will save time currently spent on logistics and administration tasks, so they are free to focus on face-to-face patient care.  

Overall, the ICS is thrilled to be working with Omnicell, a likeminded partner who wants to reshape how inventory management systems are viewed in the NHS and wider European market. Our vision is ambitious, and we are hopeful that this partnership will pave the way for expanding technology-enabled services and intelligence solutions in hospitals across Europe. We share a goal of improving healthcare and patient safety and we look forward to working with Omnicell to support our joint vision.

Words provided by Omnicell, editorially reviewed by National Health Executive

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NHE May/June 2024

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