Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is the first of the Southern Cerner sites to signal its intention to tender for a new electronic patient record system at the end of its national contract.
Taunton and Somerset received Cerner Millennium in December 2007 as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, when Fujitsu was the local service provider for the South of England.
The contract to support the trust and the other ‘live’ sites in the region was later taken over by BT, which has since deployed Millennium to three more ‘greenfield’ sites.
In total, nine Southern sites are now live with the system and collaborate with each other via the CRS Live Sites Executive.
However, Taunton and Somerset appears to be tendering independently. This is a contrast with London, where trusts that use or are likely to use Millennium recently submitted a collaborative tender for a patient administration system, electronic patient record, and associated services.
The prior information notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union says the trust expects to commence advertising for an EPR this year. It describes the end of the NPfIT contracts in October 2015 as a “key driver” for the project.
“The trust is seeking an opportunity for early market engagement with suppliers to better understand options (types of solution, approaches and indicative costs) to inform their EPR business case,” the notice says.
“The trust must ensure continuity of PAS functionality and wishes to balance investments in PAS with the overall EPR business case.”
A variety of options will be explored including: single supplier; integrated (with portal); hybrid solutions; replacing current systems or “integrating and providing a portal layer to exploit current solutions.”
The notice says the trust wants to implement some elements of the EPR before the national contract ends in 2015.
“Solutions that may be procured independently of the EPR procurement could, for example, include supply and maintenance of correspondence workflow solutions and e-prescribing,” the notice adds.
Taunton and Somerset went live with Millennium after many delays and had well-reported problems with the initial deployment.
Following problems at two of the latest trusts to go live with the system, North Bristol and Oxford University Hospitals, eHealth Insider asked all the Southern live for information about the benefits they have realised from the ‘London’ version of the system installed by BT.
EHI asked Taunton and Somerset for the benefits realisation register for its 2011 Cerner Millennium LC1 upgrade and all subsequent benefits realisation reports.
The trust has provided the register - created in January 2011 – but not the reports, which should show whether benefits anticipated are being realised.
The top five benefits listed are qualitative and include the move to paper light processes and standardised working practices, as well as better ownership of the central system and improved efficiency.
The register says IT spend would be reduced by £23,358 a year when it no longer had to pay for the Swiftop PAS that it appears to have been running alongside Millennium.
The register also says the trust was expecting to save up to ten seconds per patient because receptionists would no longer need to enter information more than once into the record.
And it says it was expecting to save three minutes per patient because of connection to the NHS data spine and the personal demographics service.
A Monitor forward planning strategy document for 2012 identifies improvement in patient administrative processes as a key priority for the trust.
“The trust’s aim for excellence in clinical services is compromised by the quality of some patient admin processes which lead to poor patient experience, such as the percentage of patients needing to be re-booked, difficulties in patients accessing clinical services and complexity in booking arrangements,” it says.
The report says Taunton and Somerset plans to invest in a document scanning system to provide a paperless process for 75% of outpatient appointments, as well as a speech recognition system and real time theatre booking.
Estimated savings from these changes total £500,000 up to the end of the 2013 financial year and recurrent savings of £500,000 thereafter.
There will be a supplier liaison process to inform the trust’s EPR business case over the next two to three months.
Suppliers are asked to submit a brief outline including the services on offer, a case study and details about infrastructure costs and investment required by the trust.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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