Consulting company Kainos and infrastructure software provider Autonomy have launched an electronic document management system following a successful implementation at Ipswich Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust, which signed a £1m deal with the companies last April after a Catalist procurement, is the first to implement the Evolve system, which will now be marketed to the rest of the NHS.

The trust went live with the system in November, when it began using it in its specialist elective surgery ward to convert its paper case notes into electronic format.

At the time, the trust said a key driver for the implementation was to make sure it met the April 2010 deadline to deliver patient discharge summaries to GPs within 24 hours.

Six months after the implementation, Neil Turnbull, head of programme delivery at the trust, told E-Health Insider: “The go-live went ahead as planned and we have been continuously using it.

"The latest discharge figures are 78%, so we won’t meet the 95% target by the end of April. But to go from standing still on this it’s a really big achievement.”

The trust has already scanned more than 20,000 historical casenotes and intends to have half a million fully electronic casenotes within five years.

Turnbull said: “We said that we were planning to scan 40,000 records but we hadn’t factored in the learning process and that there are lots of process changes involved. The important thing is that we haven’t created a single paper casenote since November.”

The trust is using Evolve to ensure that new patient casenotes go straight into the system, regardless of where they present themselves in the trust.

Turnbull said: “Demographics that are registered on the PAS flow down to the system.

"Every time there is an admission it launches the discharge summary process and then, when a patient is discharged in the PAS, it updates the casenotes. So although the integration is one way it’s still very beneficial.”

Turnbull added that other benefits include large savings on stationary and case notes and the confidence to know that casenotes are available at any location within the trust.

“We haven’t made the most of the new storage space that has been created yet but we are about to sanction the destruction of records and then we will start to see a real difference.”

The trust maintains that the system is not meant to be an electronic patient record system.

“Our strategic EPR remains Lorenzo Regional Care, but like many others our dependency is on what happens next with Morecambe Bay. Our implementation date is July 2011 and we will look to exploit the opportunities for integration."

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust is due to be the first acute trust to go-live with the latest version of Lorenzo Regional Care – Release 1.9.

Department of Health chief information officer Christine Connelly set an end of March deadline for this to happen, but the deadline was missed. Morecambe Bay is now hoping to go-live at the end of May.