Prof Owen Epstein, professor of gastroenterology and consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital, north London, has won the UCL Business Award for 2007 for a software innovation that has helped the NHS provide better care to millions of patients.
Prof Owen conceived the concept of Medic-to-Medic, a software application that gives every clinician access to the vast resources of medical knowledge in the NHS at the click of a button.
Now available in the NHS as the Map of Medicine, it was developed over four years and involved more than 200 doctors and nurses at the Royal Free Hospital. It provides information on more than 300 different patient journeys and aims to improve administrative processes, empower GPs to manage patients and avoid unnecessary referrals.
Prof Epstein said: “Medic-to-Medic was a powerful idea and this allowed me, together with Tim Rayne, the project manager, and a small group of developers, to engage more than 200 doctors and nurses at the Royal Free in developing the ideal of a ‘hospital without walls’.
“The Map of Medicine, which is the NHS derivative of Medic-to-Medic, is now available to all healthcare professionals in England and Wales through NHS Connecting for Health (the national programme for IT) and at the Royal Free Hospital, through the staff intranet called Freenet.
“The UCL award recognises the spirit of invention fostered at the Royal Free.”
The UCL Business Award for 2007 is part of the UCL Enterprise Awards which recognise academics and students who are active in the development of businesses based on research carried out at the Royal Free and University College Medical School.
Prof Epstein was presented with his award at a ceremony in the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, in central London, earlier this month (May 2008).
Notes to editors
1) For further information contact:
Soraya Madell, communications manager, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.
Tel: 020-7830 2963, Fax: 020-7830 2961
2) For more information on the Map of Medicine, visit www.mapofmedicine.com
3) For more information on the UCL Enterprise Awards visit www.ucl.ac.uk/advances/news/
4) The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust has around 900 beds and sees about half a million patients a year from all over the world. We employ 4,900 people and have a turnover of about £375m. Our services include a major accident and emergency service, all branches of surgery and medicine, a renal service serving the whole of north London, paediatrics, maternity services, care of elderly people, an adolescent psychiatric service and one of two high security infectious diseases units in the country. We are renowned for our specialist services including liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, renal, AIDS/HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, paediatric gastroenterology, ENT surgery and audiological medicine, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We are a leading cancer centre with a range of specialist diagnostic and treatment services in oncology and haematology and a major neuroscience base with a network extending throughout north London and into the Home Counties. There are associated internationally recognised research and training programmes.