The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust logoThe Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has awarded a contract to US clinical software supplier Meditech to provide it with a new electronic patient record system.

The trust has purchased the latest Meditech v6.0 EPR system from FileTek UK Ltd, to replace its current McKesson TotalCare patient administration system.

Details of the contract value were not announced, but in a February interview with E-Health Insider, trust chief executive Brian James said the organisation expected to spend £30-40m on a new strategic system over the next ten years.

The foundation trust has set the ambitious goal of becoming paperless within three years and says the new integrated EPR system fully operational from August 2011. James says having the new EPR in place is critical to both deliver improvements in patient care and meet efficiency targets.

The trust has already begun preperations for the new system with a £4m investment in a fibre-optic network, a complementary wireless network, and computer upgrades. Network capabilities the trust plans to introduce include wireless RFID patient and equipment tracking.

James said: “We chose this system because it will play a vital role in improving the quality, safety and efficiency of care we can offer our patients, and provide computer assisted support to our staff in providing that care.”

The Rotherham chief executive added: “This fully integrated electronic patient record will cover the entire patient journey within and beyond the hospital, with links to primary, community, social and mental health care records.”

As part of the development of the EPR, Rotherham plans to offer patients the ability to access their own records online.

James said the decision to award a contract outside the national NHS IT contracts had been taken of necessity. “Our decision to purchase a new electronic patient record system from outside of the national programme was not taken lightly.”

Rotherham becomes only the third NHS foundation trust to procure an EPR system outside NPfIT, and the first to select a system not within the programme. Both Newcastle and Wirral have awarded contracts based on Cerner.

James added: “The trust supports the Government’s vision for the development of an integrated electronic patient record system. We will of course keep progress with the development of the Lorenzo product under review. At such time as the full Lorenzo product is ready to deploy as a mature and stable system then the trust will reconsider its options.”

The contract award to FileTek UK to deliver Meditech comes at the end of a procurement that began in August 2008.

Charles Blackburn, chief executive of FileTek UK , said: “We’re excited to be in partnership with such a visionary organisation as The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. The implementation of MediTech v6.0 will enable the trust to realise its clearly defined, ambitious IM&T strategy.”

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