The first trust to sign-up for Lorenzo under CSC’s new agreement with the Department of Health believes the electronic patient record will reduce its reliance on paper and enhance the practice of its clinicians.
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust announced on Monday that it will be the first trust to implement the system under the new arrangement.
If its plans are approved by the DH, it the purchase will be fully funded by the Department, and the trust will be supported by CSC for a five-year period from the date of implementation. It hopes this will occur by the end of 2013.
Tameside chief information officer Tony Mellor told eHealth Insider that although he would not want to “play down the fact” that the support on offer had played a role in the decision, Lorenzo had always formed part of the trust’s strategic direction.
“We have been working with CSC for the past few months and we have never departed from our strategy to go with the [National Programme for IT in the NHS] if the system was available and it proved to be functional.
“We have been up to Morecambe Bay and Birmingham Women’s [two of the early adopters for Lorenzo under NPfIT] to understand the functionality of the system and we have made a decision from a technological perspective that has been demonstrated.
“[It has a] level of functionality that was not currently available within our existing patient administration system solution.
"It is modern code and web browser-based; and that was a key reason to move. We needed a modern solution because of the endpoint constraints we have with our system, which we have found problematic."
A firm cost for the implementation has not yet been determined, but according to Mellor will become clear as the process progresses.
The initial investment case has been made and the trust is approaching the end of ‘stage zero’ where it will sign off the project brief.
The overall cost will only be known when Tameside completes ‘stage one’ of the deployment and signs the “project initiation case”, which the DH has referred to as the “full business case”.
Stage one also involves the mobilisation of the project team and the start of migrating the information from the trust’s current patient administration system, Medway.
The Lorenzo modules to be deployed include care management, requests and results, emergency department and clinical documentation.
Mellor said the trust will explore the possibility of implementing CSC’S e-prescribing system, MedChart, once it has been signed off by NHS Connecting for Health for use with Lorenzo.
“The fundamental part is giving more control to our clinicians over the information they receive," he added.
"There is extensive clinical engagement and we have made sure this is not an IT-led deployment, but we are looking at this as a transformation project at the hospital led by clinicians.
“We want to effectively enable and enhance their clinical practice through the use of modern technology as they still rely too much on the paper record and there is a realisation that we need to away from that in the NHS.
“Ten years ago we were talking about paperless systems and we are still looking for them. So we see Lorenzo as one of the core building blocks of this business change we are looking to deliver."
Lorenzo will be installed at Tameside in the form of a 'big bang' rather than a phased-in approach, because of the integrated nature of the trust’s existing IT system.
The trust hopes the EPR will be the next step in its progression to providing clinicians with a single view of patient information, with the purchase and implementation of a clinical portal on its agenda.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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