Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in UK to roll-out order and results and medicines management applications from Cerner.

The trust, which went live with a Cerner Millennium patient administration system outside the National Programme for IT in the NHS at the beginning of November, started switching on the additional functionality earlier this month.

Steve Leggetter, e-records programme director, told E-Health Insider: “As of last week, we started switching on the order and results features and then rolling them out ward by ward.

“The trust has now completed the roll-out of orders and results in all inpatient wards across the Freeman Hospital.”

Leggetter added that in addition to switching on the PAS, all theatre bookings and scheduling are live on the system, as well as A&E. This completes the scope of phase one of the roll out.

The trust has also gone live with medications management on a 30-bed nephrology inpatient ward in part of the newly built renal services centre.

Andrew Heed, lead pharmacist, e-prescribing, said Ward 32 had been chosen because it has a high volume of high complexity drugs and a stable patient group.

“Everyone’s attitude is that if we can do it in Ward 32, we can do it anywhere in the hospital,” he said.

The ward is still running paper processes for some of its patients, but this will be taken away when the functionality has been rolled out at the rest of the Freeman.

Heed said: “There will be a gradual roll-out until the end of the month and then that will be accelerated in January with a few wards a week until it is complete.”

Newcastle took a decision in April 2008 to reject the offering by local service provider CSC and software provider iSoft, who are contracted to supply the Lorenzo electronic patient record to the North, Midlands and East of England under the national programme.

Instead, it signed a contract directly with University Pittsburgh Medical Centre to implement five applications from Cerner: patient administration, inpatient order entry, pharmacy management, A&E and operating room systems.

Leggetter added: “We’ve still got a lot of implementation to do in terms of roll out; such as orders and results into outpatients. We’ve got the RVI [Royal Victoria Infirmary] to do in terms if orders and results and meds. And then we’ve got business as usual change coming.”

EHI understands that the same functionality is available to other trusts implementing the system and will be turned on as they progress through their Cerner product roadmap.

Links: UPMC; Cerner

Read more: about reporter Sarah Bruce’s visit to Newcastle to see Millennium in action in our news analysis: Tooning up Millennium