The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has said it no longer has a firm date fixed for its go-live with a new electronic patient record system supplied by Meditech.
The trust had originally been due to go live in spring 2010 with the system it bought in 2009. The go-live was rescheduled to October 2011 and has now been further put back.
The trust cites Department of Health’s adoption of SNOMED CT healthcare terminology as the reason for the latest delay.
Chief executive Brian James has repeatedly said that his trust will only go-live with the latest Meditech system when it is ready.
The trust told eHealth Insider in August that it was planning to have the system fully operational in 2012, and was intending to proceed with an initial go-live last month.
However, that date was subject to a review at the end of August to decide whether the system was ready to be implemented in a live environment.
The trust has now told EHI the review resulted in a decision to not go live in October, and instead to adopt a more flexible approach to going live without fixing dates.
“Due to the complexities and dependencies involved, the launch of the trust’s EPR system remains subject to regular go/no go decision points... during [the August] review the trust decided to take the approach of announcing a ‘go-live when ready’,” it said in a statement.
The DH's decision to adopt SNOMED CT coding as the common clinical language in the NHS had placed an extra burden on preparing the system for going live, it added.
SNOMED CT is an internationally recognised set of numerical, machine readable codes and human readable descriptions, which can be used to uniquely identify clinical concepts.
The DH announced in August this clinical coding was expected to become the norm in the NHS from 2015.
The Rotherham said it was important for the trust to work with Meditech to ensure the system was as ‘SNOMED CT ready’ as possible at the go-live.
The trust was the first in the UK to buy the v6.0 EPR system from Meditech – a US clinical software supplier.
It said being the first trust to implement the system in the UK meant undertaking the complex task of anglicising and configuring the system so it could be used by the wider NHS and healthcare community going forward.
“As this is an extremely complex task, we are now working with other NHS Trusts and private healthcare organisations who will follow us in implementing Meditech v6.0, and who are able to challenge and confirm the requirements we have of the system,” it said.
The trust has constantly cited patient safety as the primary objective of the trust, and explanations for cautiously avoiding going-live with the system.
“Our absolute priority is making sure our new EPR system is fit for purpose and meets the requirements of the Trust to enable us to deliver excellent patient care.
“This decision [to delay going live] reinforces our commitment to deliver an innovative system which we believe will revolutionise the quality and safety of care we offer patients.”
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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