Exploration of Electronic Patient Records for Wound Care Research

What did we do?

We developed an exemplar dataset for people with complex wounds using existing resources and collaboration with local tissue viability specialist nurses. We obtained local wound care electronic patient records (EPRs) data from two clinical teams and compared this with the exemplar community dataset as well as conducting exploratory data analyses. We conducted interviews and focus groups with community nurses to explore their experiences and views of using EPRs.


Why was it important?


Healthcare information technology has advanced over the past 20 years, bringing several types of EPR into existence. EPRs have many proposed advantages over paper records including: greater standardisation and consistency, reduced time spent recording clinical information, greater legibility, fewer documentation errors and more accessible data collection for clinical audit and research. 


Complex wounds, which are mainly managed in the community by nurses (for example, tissue viability nurses or district nurses) and podiatrists, are highly prevalent, however the type and amount of electronic data collected to record wound care is varied and not well understood. By analysing current electronic data and exploring with nurses the opportunities and challenges of such data collection we can better understand: available data; the issues faced in its collection and how the data might be used for research.


How did we do it?

Working in partnership with local NHS Trusts we investigated the use of EPRs by healthcare professionals across community services in Greater Manchester. We assessed the quality, type and completeness of the information collected. To gain a deeper understanding of the findings we interviewed healthcare professionals responsible for maintaining community wound care records to explore their experiences and views of using EPRs.


Whodid we work with?

Greater Manchester Connected Health Cities

University of Manchester/Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust


More information

For more information please contact Alison Littlewood (Programme Manager) or Jo Dumville (Principle Investigator)

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