North Bristol NHS Trust has overspent by more than £1m on implementing Cerner Millennium, new figures show.
A finance report to the trust's March board meeting says more than £4.5m was spent over January and February on the Cerner system implementation.
“The forecast spend on the project is £5.1m, which represents a considerable overspend on the project as a result of the problems encountered,” it says.
The trust confirmed to eHealth Insider that it initially budgeted to spend £3.9m on deploying the new electronic patient record system.
Chief executive Ruth Brunt said the extra costs were largely down to providing more IT technical resource to re-launch the system and employing extra floor walkers to assist staff across the hospitals.
There were also some additional hardware costs for equipment. Money to fund this additional spend came from the trust’s capital budget contingencies and not from budgets allocated to patient care, she said.
EHI reported in January that the trust was having some problems following its December go-live.
These left some patients being booked into non-existent clinic appointments or not being told about scheduled operations.
The trust was forced to go back to paper to process some outpatient appointments. It also had to contact patients by phone or letter to ensure their appointment was not affected and to contact GPs to reassure them that patients were in the appointment system.
Brunt said the implementation went as planned in the emergency department, two minor injury units and more than 60 ward areas, but the trust experienced significant problems in outpatients and some issues in theatres.
Extra staff had been put in place to “rectify issues with data migration of clinic lists and ensure that our new system could be fully operational as quickly as possible, in all areas”, she said.
“We are pleased to report that these difficulties have been overcome and the system is working across the trust.”
North Bristol was now working to “consolidate and optimise” the system across the organisation and work towards realising the benefits of implementing an EPR.
“This was a complex and major change management programme and this new system will enable us to improve efficiency, reduce cost and provide the best standards of care for patients,” added Brunt.
North Bristol NHS Trust has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent review of the issues.
Minutes of the 29 March board meeting say the independent investigation was then in its second week of work and an interim update would go to the board in April.
The trust’s finance report also says that activity recording issues post the Cerner implementation mean the trust does not have reliable estimates of primary care trust iincome for December and January.
The trust is reporting the position as “being in line with forecast outturn."
The board’s revenue and capital budgets for 2012-13 show the trust plans to invest £18.5m in IT over the next nine years, most of which is “new hospital related” and linked to a new campus for the area.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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