December is turning out to be a busy month for healthcare IT supplier TPP. The company which expects to announce the deployment of its first acute system in the very near future says it has 20 demonstrations booked for its secondary care system in the weeks before Christmas and that demand for its acute offering has been “spectacular.”
Frank Hester, co-founder of TPP, is predicting a “large uptake” of its acute system in the next 12 months as he says hospitals are fed up of waiting for systems to be delivered under the NHS IT programme and starting to look elsewhere. Hester is confident about what the TPP acute product can deliver.
. “We have got one system that can not only do waiting lists and admission and discharges but it also does bed management, theatre management, case note tracking, capacity management, care pathways and full clinical records. Nobody else has got anything like that. It’s the most advanced system in the world and we are very proud of that.”
The imminent deployment announcement will be for a trust taking the full acute solution including ward and bed management, prescribing, theatre management, in-patients and out-patients, pathways and clinical coding, the company says.
Hester invites doubters who question whether a primary and community system supplier can deliver an acute system to have a look for themselves.
He adds: “Most people don’t realise that we actually started in secondary care as a company doing a diabetes system before we did our GP system.”
It is, however, in primary and community care where the company has made its mark to date, becoming by far the most widely deployed system under local service provider contracts.
Figures for November 2009 show that 1084 GP practices are now live with SystmOne and that SystmOne Community is in 54 primary care trusts in England while SystmOne Child Health is used by 42 PCTs.
A map of coverage on TPP’s website shows a concentration of systems on the right hand side of England, co-terminous with the old Accenture clusters of the East and North east of England, but with some GP, community and child health systems starting to be deployed in other PCTs across England.
Hester says that in the days when Accenture was the LSP the agreement was that TPP would stick to deployment in the East and North East clusters and not follow up leads elsewhere. When CSC took over TPP was able to move into the North West and this year has started to spread its coverage into London and the South, partly stimulated by its acceptance on the GP Systems of Choice framework.
Hester adds: “Although we haven’t got very much coverage in those areas yet we are starting to sell systems there and it is always a matter of building up awareness in a PCT to begin with.”
Hester says 2009 has been “busy” for TPP and the statistics certainly suggest the Yorkshire-based company has been expanding at a rapid rate.
The last 12 months have seen it become the national system for prisons, become one of CSC’s strategic primary care solutions with the intention to integrate with Lorenzo secondary care, announce the launch of its hospital and community hospital systems and meet CfH standards for a host of the IT agency’s GP programmes.
The latter includes data centre hosting approval, accreditation for release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service, Summary Care Record compliance and acceptance on to the GP Systems of Choice framework.
The company is also working towards GP2GP approval as well and Dr John Williams, clinical lead for the GP2GP programme, says Read Code 2 to Read code 3 conversion in both directions now looks “entirely realistic”.
Hester has no doubt GP2GP accreditation will happen next year and, when questioned about concerns voiced on EHI Primary Care about the TPP data sharing, states that these views are not widely shared.
He says: “We don’t recognise those criticisms and we have written to the small group of people who have raised the concerns offering to demonstrate our system but they haven’t taken us up on that. We ‘ve been repeatedly tested for information governance and we passionately believe in what we do.”
Hester says he is frustrated that much of the National Programme for IT has been spent waiting for and talking about “software that doesn’t exist.”. He adds: : “I have no confidence that Lorenzo as a product will deliver which is why we have written our secondary care system.”
He says a change of government or a change in NHS IT policy will not affect the company because the NHS will still need the kind of systems TPP can deliver and argues that the company’s close working relationship with clinicians is what marks it out
He adds: “We don’t know better than our clinicians and that’s our strength. “
Next year Hester wants his company to keep on doing its primary care work while establishing a “deeper footprint” across England and deploying the range of new products including systems for acute trusts, community hospitals, out-of-hours services, social care and mental health. It’s a ‘to do’ list which suggests December may not be the last of the busy months.