Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has become the latest trust to go live with a new theatre system, provided by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) as part of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

CSC, the local service provider for the North West and West Midlands region of the £6.2 billion NPfIT programme has provided the trust with iSoft’s Ormis theatre management system. The new technology replaces paper in the trust’s theatre suites with touch screen terminals.

Ormis automates the management of hospital operating theatres, enabling theatre staff to view patient’s theatre records, track the use of consumables and instrument trays and generate real-time reports on the location of patients and utilisation of operating theatres. By having real-time reports on the utilisation of theatres and staff the trust can plan more effectively and deal with peaks of demand.

“The new IT system has already brought significant benefits to both patients and clinical staff, providing improved efficiency and effectiveness of scheduling of theatre slots.” said Jane Beattie, clinical director, anaesthesia and theatres,  at the trust.

In recent months CSC has installed the same system at Stockport Hospital NHS Trust and Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust and is currently working on implementing Ormis at St Helen’s and Knowsley NHS Trust in Liverpool.

Patrick Gormley, account executive, from the CSC Alliance said: “The introduction of the new theatres system will allow the trust to improve how it monitors resources in theatres and, most importantly, increase the level of service its frontline staff can offer to patients.”

Gormley told E-Health Insider that the trust had had an urgent requirement for the new system because it previously had no automation in its 22 theatres. "Sometimes just identifying where a patient was difficult for the trust. They had a real appetite for the new system."

Initially the theatre management system will largely operate in a stand alone fashion, but will in the future be integrated with the trust’s new patient administration system (PAS), due to go live this summer. "We’ve already started working with the trust to go live with our Care Records Service application, initially iSoft’s iPM, due to go live in June," said Gormley.

He added that the theatres system "will interface with the trust PAS system further down the line when we get the integrated Lorenzo solution [supplied by iSoft] in a few years time". In the longer term the linking of the theatres system to the trust’s PAS will allow ward staff to gain an instant update to a patient’s progress through a theatre.

Gormley said that the initial implementations of Ormis in NWWM had taught CSC Alliance a lot about the complexities of how NHS trusts manage their theatres and the associated business processes. He said that trust’s varied greatly both in the size of their theatres and the supporting IT systems they already have in place.

CSC is using a ‘train the trainer’ approach to train initial trainers within each organisation who then cascade training internally. "The key has been the trust’s significant project management team and their commitment," said Gormley. "The user feedback on this has already been very positive we’ve had no problems winning hearts and minds."