Alert logoBlackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation has become the first NHS trust to go live with an electronic patient record system from Alert Life Sciences, E-health Insider can exclusively reveal.

The trust signed a deal with Portuguese company, Alert last November and went live with its Emergency Department Information System across it A&E department on Tuesday.

The system is being used by 200 core staff that work in the department as well as 250 who need to access the information as part of their job. The system is said to provide a  fully integrated clinical record, including the use of orders and results, eprescribing and clinical documentation functionality.

Philip Graham, director of IM&T at the trust, told EHI: "Sceptics might say that this is only a system for A&E but no, it’s a full EPR in A&E, so it’s a small step for EPR but a giant leap for what we are doing."

According to the trust, the system went live without any problems and although there were a few staff who were slightly slower at adopting the system, it was virtually business as usual.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive officer at the trust added:“This is an exciting development for the trust and we are sure the new system will help us use the IT that is now available to provide better, safer care for our patients.

He added: “It will give our staff access to constantly updated information wherever the patient is in the hospital and clinical staff will no longer have to search for notes as they will have all the details at hand, including any relevant medical history and test results. This will ensure we have a safer service, carry out fewer duplicate investigations and reduce the number of avoidable admissions to hospital.”

The trust set a provisional go-live date for the beginning July, later revised to September, but decided to push it back to give the clinical team a further period of familiarisation and to ensure that all of the components of the project were complete.

The go-live is a landmark for Alert, its first with an NHS trust customer. Alert has previously installed at private hospital, Circle Bath earlier this year and the system is due to be implemented across Bupa Cromwell’s hospital.

Roger Wallhouse, newly appointed managing director of Alert UK, said: “The fact that the go-live has been achieved within one year from contract is a testament to the commitment from both the trust and Alert to work as one team with a common goal. We are hugely proud to have achieved this success with our first NHS client which we hope will act as a beacon for others.”

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals chose the system using the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) framework. The trust is one of only a handful in the North, Midlands and East to decide to implement an EPR outside of the National Programme for IT in the NHS. The trust had been earmarked to eventually receive Lorenzo from CSC.

Although the trust has previously claimed that it has not ruled out implementing Lorenzo it now says that the go-live is part of its wider Vision project which will see the full Alert Paper Free Hospital Suite implemented trust wide over the next two years.

Graham added: "We will now review what we have done and look at some replanning around how we can get bigger benefits from the sytsem, that might mean rolling out in the cardiac centre or it could mean rolling out order comms to the whole trust."