Croydon Health Services NHS Trust will be the first community provider in the UK to go-live with Cerner Millennium later this year.
Alison Markwell, acting assistant director of children’s services in the community, said the trust's community services are due to go-live with the electronic patient record system towards the end of 2012.
The deployment will take place in two phases. In the first phase, all community services will go-live with patient registration, scheduling and clinical notes recording.
And four ‘beacon services’ – podiatry, children’s audiology, children’s physiotherapy and district nursing – will start using the clinical assessment tool.
In the second phase, other service areas will start using the clinical tool, and the system will go-live in the trust’s maternity service.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust was formed in August 2010 through the integration of Croydon Community Health Services and acute provider Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust.
Markwell said the decision to deploy Millennium was closely linked with the change to becoming an integrated care organisation, which brought with it a need for an integrated electronic patient record system.
The community services employs more than 600 clinicians in 30 services. Markwell said some of these use Ascribe’s ePEX community and mental health system as a patient record, while others still rely on paper records, supplemented by ePEX.
“The shift for those using paper to entirely electronic is going to be different, in terms of culture and working practices,” Markwell said.
The trust has developed a training plan for the go-live that includes both 'awareness raising' and hands-on experience of Millennium.
An “experience centre” is being set up in the hospital and “champion users” have been identified who will get enhanced training, so they can support other staff.
The trust has just filmed a DVD to show in team meetings, so people can start to get used to the language associated with Millennium and understand the changes it will bring to their working day.
All staff will also go through formal training in the seven weeks before starting to use Millennium, using “manuals, modules and online tools.” At the go-live, there will be floor walkers to help out as well as phone support.
Markwell said the use of Millennium offered “exciting opportunities”, but such a big change was bound to lead to apprehension, which had to be managed with an effective change management process.
“There’s a benefits realisation piece of work beginning in earnest now,” she added. “We don’t have specific targets at present, but there’s an expectation that it will improve quality from the point of view that you have all the patient information in front of you and it will be easily accessible.”
Millennium will also support the organisation’s move towards more mobile working.
“A district nurse can take a photo in the community of a wound, then email it to a vascular consultant and say ‘give me your view on this’ – there should be some real benefits for patient safety and quality,” said Markwell.
Remote working capabilities should mean that community staff will not have to return to base as often, which should increase patient visit numbers and the productivity of staff.
Markwell said there was no set timeline to have a fully functioning EPR at the trust, as this will depend on how the roll-out goes in the specialist services.
“We are very aware that we are first, and so are staff at Cerner; so we have been working very closely with them on that,” she said.
Millennium is being deployed at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust under the London Programme for IT contract with BT.
Croydon is one of two community and health trusts in the capital that did not take CSE Healthcare's RiO as part of the programme.
© 2012 EHealth Media.