West London Mental Health NHS Trust rolled out the Rio clinical information system after an implementation involving 91,000 records and 250,000 clinical documents.

First implemented last October on a restricted basis, the trust has now expanded the system to all its clinical teams, with 500-600 trained users now in action.

West London’s director of IM&T, Alan Brown, told E-Health Insider: “The implementation of this new clinical information system is part of a long journey which has involved several years of investment in our IM&T infrastructure. It was an ambitious rollout, focusing on specific teams like home treatment and A&E liaison as well as administrative functions across the trust.

“This system is much more clinically efficient for us. We can now store a lot more demographic data and information on an individual patient, meaning that there is less repetition for every staff member responsible for a patient.”

The trust was previously using an outdated system, which would not have been able to handle the data migration needed.

“Our old legacy system was over 20 years old and was DOS based. It was not a very user friendly system. We had a huge amount of data to migrate to the new system including records for 91,000 patients and at least 250,000 clinical documents. For administrative reasons alone, it was essential we upgraded to the Connecting for Health system.”

Brown, who recently was recently named Public Sector CIO Innovator of the Year, said that once staff saw the benefits, it was easy to train them and most, especially those who relied on records, were eager to learn how to use the new system quickly.

“Feedback has been very positive. The Rio system allows staff to store a much larger amount of information than they have been able to before. A lot of it is really good to have available on one system, and though it is not yet integrated, with an N3 connection, anyone with access rights can log on.”

Dr Mayank Gupta of the Hammersmith and Fulham Crisis Resolution Home Treatment team said: “For me the best thing is that as a doctor I feel my notes are more secure than they were before. It’s more convenient and you can see all the past notes. It’s a very good system. We don’t have to chase notes and it is more time efficient.”

Brown said that one problem West London had faced was dealing with problems with the N3 connection. “Availability has been an issue. For instance, December was an OK month, but then January wasn’t great,” he said.

Melvin Jambawo, team manager, Hammersmith and Fulham Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team added: “We are focusing on making the system work as well as it can for us. It is new, so naturally there have been some teething problems but we have been overcoming them and the whole team is using RiO now with good results! We do all our referrals, assessments, care planning, daily progress notes and risk assessments on RiO for example.”

Summarising the project, Brown said: “Going live with a new system has given us time to evaluate local processes and implement new ways of working which make things easier and more efficient for both staff and service users. We want to spend the rest of the year, further expanding the usage of the system and adding in some further elements.”