Private healthcare provider Spire is preparing for a ‘big bang’ replacement of its legacy patient administration system with SAP’s Patient Management.
Spire Healthcare runs 37 private hospitals throughout the UK, all of which are running McKesson’s Star PAS.
Despite this, IT director Stephen Hayward said the system had evolved in different ways at different hospitals, before they were united under the Spire banner.
This meant they had diverged to such an extent that they could not be successfully integrated.
Spire was prompted to start looking at replacing the ‘green and black’ Star technology when McKesson announced it would no longer support the system after 2014.
“We had a fairly constrained timescale to find a new system and get converted over to it before 2014,” Hayward told eHealth Insider.
The business has also bought SAP’s financial administration system. It was initially planning to implement this first, and replace the PASs hospital by hospital.
However, Hayward said that during planning the group realised that was going to present a “huge management challenge.”
“As we got further and further into it, we realised that was going to require an awful lot of development time, and was really going to get too complex and difficult.”
The company is now planning to go live with both the financial and patient administration systems simultaneously across all its sites in January 2013.
“It’s a challenge for any organisation – this is something that any organisation only does only once in 10 or 15 years,” Hayward said.
Even so, going for a big bang go-live would take less time in the long run, he argued.
The first phase of the system implementation will give the hospitals the same level of clinical functionality as Star but “in a far slicker environment”.
During subsequent phases, Spire will work on rebuilding the interfaces between the SAP systems and other clinical systems to effectively create a full electronic health record.
Hayward said the recent news that the contract for Alert to implement an EPR at CircleBath meant that Spire was likely to become the first private provider in the UK to achieve a full EPR.
© 2011 EHealth Media.
Register: To add a comment you must be registered.