Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has implemented NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index to provide a more precise and consistent view of patient data.

Michael Mythen, senior programme manager at the trust, told eHealth Insider its previous system lacked flexibility and could not meet the trust’s requirements.

“The new system has given us additional tools to identify and prevent duplicate patient records,” he said. “Even though NextGate hadn’t previously been exposed to NHS data they impressed us as they identified and understood the data.”

The new system creates a Universal ID for patients and correlates data from disparate sources to enable a single view of information about them. It also validates NHS Numbers.

The improved patient matching functionality in the new system has also allowed Northumbria Healthcare to implement accurate and efficient searching in its single view clinical portal.

“The system has improved our accuracy for patient identification and matching, allowing us to meet many NHS requirements. It has also resulted in greater efficiency and better patient care,” said Mythen.

Out of the 900,000 records held by the trust, duplicate records account for 0.1%, a figure that Northumbria Healthcare believes will be lowered by NextGate’s EMPI.

Trust board papers detailing its IM&T strategy say that the installation of the EMPI single view is the first step on the way to implementing an e-integrated health record. The trust hopes this will be available in acute, community and primary care settings by 2014.

EHI reported in January that Northumbria Healthcare has also purchased a new patient administration system, which it hopes to have in place by November.

Stalis will replace the current McKesson PAS with a system developed by Silverlink Software in a move that the trust has described as its “highest clinical and business IT priority this year.”