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Epic win at Cambridge

27 April 2012   Rebecca Todd

Epic has won the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust joint electronic patient record procurement, eHealth Insider can exclusively reveal.

Cambridge and Papworth will be the first UK reference sites for the US software supplier, which is known to have heavily invested in the high-profile bid.

The trusts selected Epic ahead of Cerner and Allscripts in what is seen by many as one of the most important NHS IT procurements in recent years.

A Cambridge University Hospitals statement provided to EHI this morning says: “Epic has a successful track record of delivering software products designed with patients and clinicians in mind at academic healthcare centres in the US and Europe.”

The trusts had 53 responses to a tender released in June 2011 for their eHospital programme, which was split into two lots - for infrastructure and hardware and for software.

The trusts announced a shortlist of three suppliers for the software component of the project in December. These were Cerner, Epic and Allscripts. Hewlett Packard has won the hardware and infrastructure part of the tender.

Dr Gareth Goodier, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, described the two chosen companies as “world-class organisations” and the decision as “the first step in our ten year journey to transform our hospitals through our innovative eHospital programme."

“This is more than an electronic patient record system - it will support clinical decisions and lead to better prescribing, improved patient communications and more effective management of our services,” he said.

“Work continues on all the necessary checks to ensure that we are making the right decision to invest in this programme and that our staff and patients will be getting real value for money.

"I am confident that we will see significant quality improvements and efficiency savings through this unique partnership.”

Both trusts currently run legacy iSoft patient administration systems, with Papworth taking iPM as an 'interim' system from the National Programme for IT in the NHS, while Cambridge stuck with its existing system.

“It is anticipated that the two companies will work in partnership with the hospitals over the next ten years to create a future-proofed, secure and integrated information technology service.

"This will enable clinical staff to access all information relating to their patients whenever and wherever they need it,” the trust statement says.

“Following an open and competitive procurement and selection process over the last 11 months contracts are expected to be signed at the end of June.”

A November 2011 pamphlet about the eHospital project says Cambridge University Hospitals' current technology is “old, unstable and slow” and this causes “considerable staff frustration."

“Our vision for our future is one where computers are part and parcel of every day work for everyone: doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and the patient," the pamphlet adds.

“This will make our healthcare more efficient, effective, safe, accessible and reliable. We could save money and improve patient care.

“Staff will be able to see a unified view of the patient – whether it is clinical, administrative or management information they are looking for.

“We plan to harness the best of stable and proven technology – be it wireless networks, laptops, hand-held devices, voice recognition systems, barcodes or conventional desktop computing.”

A Cambridge University Hospitals forward planning document says the board of directors approved the outline business case to “procure new IT systems and services” in April 2011 and there was some “vulnerability” until the new system is installed and running.

The combined organisations will have more than 9,000 staff and 1,300 beds.


Related Articles:

6 News: Cambridge to pick EPR supplier in April | 16 March 2012
8 Insight: Epic “ready for NHS” | 4 April 2012
10 News: Cambridge produces all US shortlist | 2 December 2011
4 Insight: Cerner says NHS on digital 'tipping point' | 24 April 2012
16 News: Cambridge receives 50 bids for EPR | 3 October 2011
Last updated: 30 April 2012 15:23

© 2012 EHealth Media.


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Exit Strategy & standards

Neelam Dugar 137 weeks ago

Most Trusts are going through PACS replacements. CFH did not include an exit strategy in their contracts in 2005/2006. NHS is paying a price for this.

I hope we can learn from mistakes from PACS contracts & do not make it for PAS/EPR. Technology moves on. We need to be able to replace systems to encourage a varied & thriving supplier community.


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Does Epic have a PAS

nike 138 weeks ago

I know its only one part of the overall solution that Cambridge are looking for and EPIC have a great range of Clinicals, but I thought that EPIC lack a true PAS for the UK market and need to partner with another supplier to provide this bit of the overall solution?

If I am right then who is doing this for them? - it supports some of the earlier posts about a vibrant UK market if true.


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PAS?

Daniel Defoe 137 weeks ago

I don't think any of the "real" modern EPRs have a PAS in the sense that we know it which is why most Trusts acquiring a "real" EPR will be wanting to retain their existing PAS until the EPR is fully implemented so as to ensure that they can continue to generate the detail required to ensure payment etc. As soon as a "real" EPR is fully implemented, then old-fashioned PAS becomes an irrelevance.

I think it's implicit in the article that Cambs will be retaining their iSoft PAS until their EPUC EPR is fully implemented. Unless they're very brave...


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Value for money and an answer to Leclerc

spotlight 138 weeks ago

Value for money is a key point. We don't know what EPIC are charging for Cambridge yet or Allscripts at Liverpool Heart and Chest but from memory the Cerner system at North Bristol was around 30m and the System C system at University hospital was around 8m. The two trusts are of similar size.

However there is a lot more to value for money than price. For me the key thing about the new entrants is for them to prove that they can do it before other Trusts sign up for their systems. History shows us that some can and some can't and also that beauty is more than skin deep. Nice demos are much easier then safe deployments.


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Can one compare the Cambs and UHB (Bristol) approaches?

It is I, LeClerc 138 weeks ago

News of investment in NHS IT is to be welcomed, and no doubt the Epic package looks exciting. It is interesting to note they have chosen the path taken by others previously, to buy in and Angilcise a US system. I would suppose that the business case took account of the risks and costs involved. I wonder if the outcome will be any better for patient care, or provide better value for money, than the UHB Bistol option.


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Can one compare? No.

Daniel Defoe 138 weeks ago

Be fair LeClerc; comparison in this case would be apples with, probably, pineapples. Not wishing to denigrate it in any way, UHB's OBS represents just a bit more than a "PAS Plus" to replace the workable but obsolete Swift/EDS/HP applications they were already running in a much more modern and integrated way -in effect, the "Clinical5". Cambridge's OBS represents a wholesale EPR which includes (as near as dammit) the whole EPR spectrum including e.g., Care Planning, EPMA, and across all care settings etc., etc., without the need for integration engines, portals and the like. Sure, a Ford Fiesta will get you from A to B in the same way as a 10-seat people carrier, but on the day that you have to transport 10 people, you'd need to buy another Fiesta or two. As a consequence, looking at VFM and making comparisons isn't simple,


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EPIC and NPfIT

PeteMarsh 138 weeks ago

I welcome EPIC on the NHS IT scene. It is a quality product and has the right pedigree for success, owned by its staff and not subject to the vagaries of the Dow Jones or Nasdaq quarterly CEO beatings. Its track record in installing at Kaiser Permanente on time and on budget, with 9 million souls on its database is one the NHS should have bought in the National Project. I have a feeling not as many failures / poor deliveries would have happened had they been a supplier as a prime contractor, rather than the service companies with little knowledge of the domain. Welcome EPIC and well done Cambridge.


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An interesting ten days

Daniel Defoe 138 weeks ago

UH Bristol's announcement that its Medway system had gone live, a win for Allscripts in Liverpool, a win for Epic in Cambridge, and confirmation from Brighton expected imminently that Alert Life Sciences has finally been awarded their EPR contract. While implementing an EPR is necessarily a slow business, and no doubt they'll all choose to do it differently, it'll be interesting to compare progress on these as time goes by as well as comparing with the NPfIT "early adopters" who are now coming to the end of their CfH-funded LSP contracts.


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A thriving and varied supplier community is a good thing for the NHS

spotlight 138 weeks ago

With the hiatus caused by the national programme many Trusts are in the position of having to replace their systems over the coming few years. It is important that they make good and well informed decisions so that we don't repeat the sort of IT problems we have seen in the past. Several times we have seen suppliers winning multiple deals and then struggling to deliver any of them well. The key to avoiding this is the sort of transparency that we are seeing as a result of the timely coverage and informed user and industry comments available via EHI.

So what we want to know is which Trust buys which systems, whether they are value for money, when they are due to go live, whether they go live smoothly and on time, whether they are liked and what benefits are planned and realised.

A thriving and varied supplier community is a good thing for the NHS and it is good to see the recent entries by EPIC and Allscripts. But we need to make sure that promises are kept and that suppliers both deliver well and charge an equitable price. So Rotherham, North Bristol, University Hospitals Bristol, Royal Berkshire, Oxford, Cambridge and others are leading the way. Let's applaud their successes and learn from their mistakes. Transparency gives us the best chance of holding suppliers to account and ensuring that they take their performance and the NHS's needs seriously.


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