University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, has announced a £70 million investment in an Electronic Patient Records (EPR) system, supplied by IDX Systems Corporation in partnership with LogicaCMG.
IDX will deliver an integrated IT system called Lastword across the Trust’s eight hospitals. The system will enable UCLH to ensure that its brand new PFI-build hospital on Euston Road will open as a virtually paperless hospital and help it achieve the NHS Plan objectives of creating a service designed around the needs of the patient.
The EPR deal follows the signing earlier this month of a contract with Agfa Healthcare to provide a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) for online X-ray images to the trust. Eventually the PACS system will be fully integrated with the new EPR system.
IDX’s Lastword system is designed to integrate core clinical processes for orders, results, pharmacy and clinical documentation, together with managing administrative and financial processes for scheduling, registering and admitting patients, charging and billing. UCLH is a top-performing NHS trust and an applicant to become a first wave Foundation Trust.
The deal marks one of the largest It investments ever signed by an individual NHS Trust. It is also likely to prove the last major trust IT investment before the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) signs national deals this autumn.
The £422m PFI-build hospital currently being built on Euston Road in central London, which replaces University College Hospital and the Middlesex Hospital in spring 2005, will incorporate Lastword as its core clinical and administrative system and operate as a virtually paperless hospital.
While other high-profile EPR procurements, such as Shires, Oxford, Blackberd and Thames Valley, have ended this year the UCLH procurement has proceeded through to contract signing now, rather than waiting until the national systems to be delivered by the NPfIT, to ensure that the new hospital has the best IT system when it opens.
Trevor Stanley, managing director of IDX in the UK, told E-Health Insider: “We are delighted to have won the contract in the face of stiff competition. It’s the largest contract of its type ever warded in this country, and exactly the type of programme we have experience of delivering in the US.”
Robert Naylor, chief executive of UCLH, told E-Health Insider. “The new Euston Road hospital has been designed as virtually paperless. We’ve now got about 18-months to implement the EPR system before we open.”
Significantly the UCLH EPR deal has been funded by the trust from its own resources rather than being dependant on securing additional national investment.
The investment has been made to revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered at UCLH. Over the next three years electronic systems will start to replace paper, medical notes, test results, letters and appointments will be linked into a single computer based patient record.
The system should help ensure that lost case notes, delayed test results and misplaced letters will be a thing of the past. Instead the right information should become accessible, anytime, anywhere at the press of a button, using the latest in mobile technology.
The EPR system will mean that patients can feel confident that the information about them and their history of care is accurate and easily accessible to any professional involved with their care. As the national systems delivered by the national programme become available it should become possible to make patient details available to authorised health professionals working in the wider health community or even nationally.
Mr Naylor commented: “This project will deliver the essential IT for our 21st century hospital opening in 2005. IDX will provide the latest IT infrastructure and electronic patient record system that the Trust needs to run a world class hospital.
Mr Naylor added: “It will benefit patients by speeding up processes and eliminating human error, and for staff it will take the hassle out of paper work and allow them more time to concentrate on patient care.”
The deal is particularly significant for IDX, which had made it to preferred bidder stage in the Shires procurement before the project was terminated. UCLH becomes the second major London teaching hospital to select IDX’s Lastword EPR system, which has been running at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust for the past four years.
IDX is part of the Capital Care Alliance consortium, led by BT, currently competing with a consortium, led by IBM and including Cerner, for the high-profile contract to become the Local Service Provider (LSP) for London.