Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has expanded its use of Cerner Millennium and says it is now using the system as its primary patient administration system.

The trust, which has historically been known as an NHS IT leader, became one of the first to leave the National Programme for IT in the NHS, when it signed a direct contract with Cerner in February 2009.

After a short delay on its initial go-live date, it went live with the first elements of the new system at the end of May 2010, when it switched on the A&E module and Cerner’s PowerTrials clinical trials management system.

It has now announced that it has implemented additional solutions for trust registrations and the management of outpatients and theatres.

As a result, it says that although it is continuing to interface its legacy TDS 7000 hospital information system to Cerner Millennium, it is now using the new system as its master patient index and primary PAS.

Luke Readman, the trust’s director of information, said: “This is a major event in the trust. Using Millennium to support the delivery of excellent care to patients is a long-held ambition that we are well on the way to delivering.

“We are now regularly seeing more than 800 concurrent users on Millennium and the system is performing very well. The historic data transfer process from PCIS also went well, and there have been no significant errors thus far, with minimal impact on business as usual.”

The latest go-live required the completion of data migration projects for outpatient and inpatient waiting lists, future appointments, case note locations and alerts.

It also required 1,300 staff – including all the trust’s consultants – to be trained in the new release. The trust employed additional support and floor walkers from Cerner and a third-party specialist, IDEAL, to support the go-live. It also recruited 80 trust staff to act as ‘superusers’ within their own locality.

Readman added: “The investment that the trust has made in terms of time, effort and funding has been well worth it so far and we are looking forward to similar, successful go-lives when we implement additional Cerner solutions in the coming months.”

The trust is now in the process of transitioning to a Cerner PACS and a RadNet radiology information system as part of its overall, integrated architecture. This project should be completed in the next quarter.

At the same time, work is underway to design, build and test inpatient, maternity, prescribing and medicines administration modules. These are all due for implementation in late 2011.

Cerner said the success of the May go-live in A&E persuaded the trust to make a commitment to having Cerner Millennium as its primary PAS by the end of November, and it put a “challenging plan” in place to achieve this.

Alan Fowles, Cerner’s vice president and general manager of the UK and Ireland, said: “Wirral’s implementation strategy has been a great success, due to the commitment and hard work of both the Wirral and Cerner staff working in partnership.”

The full set of solutions implemented in the latest go-live comprises: all trust registrations; inpatient and outpatient waiting list management; outpatient scheduling and referral to treatment 18 week waiting times; outpatient electronic ordering, specimen management and results retrieval; correspondence; outpatient clinical documentation; case note tracking; full scheduling, tracking and documentation for theatres; outpatient statutory reporting; clinical review and endorsement of diagnostic results using PowerChart and message centre functions.

Link: Cerner