An electronic patient record system tender from Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has attracted 22 expressions of interest in its first week.

The tender was dispatched to the Official Journal of the European Union on February 22.

It says the trust is looking to spend £2m on an EPR – including a patient administration system, clinical desktop and integration, medicines management and maternity.

Director of planning and performance Jeremy Martin said it was “very encouraging” to have 22 expressions of interest already.

The plan is to deploy the system in maternity in the latter part of 2013, introduce the PAS in either late 2013 or in 2014, then build it into a fully functioning EPR over the following three years.

Martin said the trust had been using HP Swift for the past 20 years and wanted to “move into the modern world."

He said the healthcare world was changing and moving towards more integrated care.

“We want to work much more closely with partner organisations locally to help patients move through the pathways more seamlessly,” he added.

“We want to procure a system that has required standards of interoperability, so at some point in the future we have the capacity to link that information with other organisations.

"But that’s a bit down the line. The priority is to get our own systems talking to each other first.”

The trust expects the benefits of a better EPR to include better quality of care by being able to introduce functionality such as e-prescribing.

It also expects to make efficiency savings through better use of clinical time and improved communication with patients.

Yeovil will use the EPR to generate electronic discharge summaries, which it is not currently doing; although it is piloting an electronic discharge system created by the Somerset Health Informatics Service.

Martin explained that the trust only has to make “relatively modest improvements” to cover the investment costs of the new system.

It is working closely with neighbouring Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to learn from its experience of implementing Cerner Millennium.

“Yeovil didn’t get anything through the National Programme [for IT in the NHS]. We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Martin said.

“The board sees it as key to our strategy, which is about being part of an integrated health community and moving towards things like telehealth and mobile working.”

“This is a key enabler of lots of other efficiencies and quality improvements.” Supplier submissions must be received by March 30.