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Prescribing innovation for new-born babies

The Innovation Agency has forged a partnership with a French company to introduce a digital prescribing system into UK hospitals to improve the care of new-born babies.

Logipren has developed breakthrough neonatal and paediatric e-prescribing software that enables healthcare professionals to deliver higher quality care by minimising the risk of human error in drug prescription.

The Innovation Agency’s International Team has supported the Paris-based company in showcasing its technology which gives greater security and confidence to healthcare teams caring for new-born babies.

Using a digital system to prescribe neonatal medication and feeding significantly reduces the time clinical staff need to calculate doses and generate and document a prescription, compared with a handwritten approach.

A recent study showed that an average handwritten prescription takes around 11 minutes, while the Logipren system can take as little as three minutes – a 68 per cent reduction.

Medication errors cause around 1,700 deaths annually in the UK and cost the NHS over £98 million each year. Around one in six manual neonatology prescriptions contain errors, so Logipren’s e-prescribing software has the potential to save lives and resources.

Laure Bello, Business Developer at Logipren, said: “While our technology has proven its benefits for the 95 neonatal and paediatric units that use it, we were completely unfamiliar with the UK healthcare system, and the Innovation Agency have given us invaluable guidance and support.

“With their expertise we have been able to engage with the right NHS clinicians and decision-makers who can actually bring the software into NHS hospitals.”

The Innovation Agency’s International Team focuses on building partnerships with overseas innovators whose work has the potential to address intractable health and care challenges in the UK.

They have helped Logipren in refining their UK value proposition and crafting an NHS business case, as well as ensuring their solution meets the digital health technologies assessment criteria required by the NHS.

The team has also supported the company's engagement with stakeholders and conducted an analysis of the NHS market for their product. They also supported Logipren in navigating procurement regulations and NHS digital technology assessment processes.

Colin Callow, Head of International Programmes at the Innovation Agency, said: “When we were approached by Logipren we could see the transformation potential for this technology and how it could deliver real benefits across the NHS

“In our role as the innovation arm of the NHS we are pleased to help NHS clinicians and decision-makers deploy and evaluate this and other promising healthcare innovations from around the world.”

Research shows electronic prescribing software can save around 1,500 hours every year on a typical NHS trust ward. Given the complexity of neonatal prescribing (because of off-label medicines, a physiologically immature patient and the importance of precise feed plans), the improved efficiency provided by an e-prescribing software specific to new-born babies is even greater.

Current digital prescribing tools in the NHS are designed for adult patients and do not address the nuances of neonatal care, while the varying prescribing practices across units result in an increased risk of medication errors, especially in vulnerable patients.

The Logipren system is designed to primarily benefit neonatal intensive care units (NICU) providing around-the-clock care to sick or preterm babies but can offer potential benefits in other paediatric settings. Logipren tackles the challenge of off-label or unlicensed drugs in NICU prescriptions, which require guidance from several sources for their prescription, preparation and administration.

Logipren has already been successfully deployed in 95 neonatal and paediatric units in France, Spain and Morocco.

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