Health Minister Launches Two Northern Trust Software Systems

Apr 182014
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Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched two new hospital IT systems which will significantly improve patients’ health and save lives through the appropriate use of medications, including antibiotics. Developed by the Pharmacy and Medicines Management Department in the Northern Trust, the two systems are the Live Automated Microbiology Pharmacy Surveillance System (LAMPS) and the Electronic Medicines Reconciliation System (EMRS).

Speaking at the launch in Antrim Area Hospital, the Minister said: “Medicines are the most common medical intervention within the Health and Social Care (HSC) Service and it is essential that we have systems which support their safe and optimal use so that patients receive the right medicine at the right time. This will not only help them return to good health more quickly, reducing the time spent in hospital, but can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.”

Image of four people at the launch of LAMPS and EMRS

Pictured at the launch of LAMPS and EMRS are: Michael Martin, Director, Yarra Software Ltd; Prof Mike Scott, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management; Dr Naomi Baldwin, Lead Nurse Infection Prevention and Control and Edwin Poots, Minister for Health

LAMPS seeks to improve patient outcomes through the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat infection. The system operates in real time in both acute hospital and community settings to detect changing trends in antimicrobial resistant organisms. Monitoring trends enables appropriate and effective prescribing by clinicians and improves patient safety.

EMRS supports safe, effective, medicine use throughout the inpatient journey allowing patients’ medication details to be recorded in a uniform way in real time without the need for paper records. This reduces the risk of error, improves patient safety and ensures that patients are on the right medication to enable optimal management of their health.

Professor Mike Scott, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said: “The Northern Trust is proud to be launching these new innovative systems which will improve safety, efficiency, patient outcomes and ultimately save patients’ lives.

“Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI’s) and their management are key concerns for all health and social care organisations. The LAMPS System allows effective monitoring and early detection of healthcare infections making the hospital a safer place for all.

“The Medicines Reconciliation System records patients’ medication reducing transcribing errors, improving patient safety and ensuring patients are on the right medication to enable optimal management of chronic conditions.

“The Trust is delighted to have worked in partnership with Yarra Software to improve our services for patients and ensure Northern Ireland is at the forefront of innovation in health.”

HSC Innovations facilitated the technology transfer deal with Yarra Software. Dr David Brownlee of HSC Innovations said: “This collaboration between industry and the HSC demonstrates the value of working with practising clinicians to identify technology opportunities and to develop new products for healthcare. These products can help to secure real improvements in healthcare practices locally (HSC), nationally (NHS) and globally.”

Dr Brownlee also encourages HSC staff with innovative ideas to improve patient care to contact HSC Innovations for further assistance and support in developing these ideas into products that will ultimately benefit patients.

Further information on the products is available from Yarra Software at