Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is moving its directory from a Novell platform to Microsoft Active Directory as it progresses a five year, £37m informatics strategy.

The strategy, which gained full approval in February 2011, aims to deliver a paper light environment at the trust and to enable it to develop an electronic patient record, working with ‘best of breed’ systems coupled with a clinical portal.

Other “key deliverables” include improving its business intelligence systems, electronic communications with GPs, and the trust’s website and patient communications, to help it compete in the new NHS.

The first part of the implementation of the strategy is focused on unifying an improving the trust’s infrastructure, and rolling out a new wireless network.

Eileen Jessop, the trust’s deputy director of informatics, told eHealth Insider that the £267,000 move to Microsoft Active Directory will make patient and clinical data more readily available to clinicians across the trust.

“Our strategy has been based around the Clinical 5 part of the NHS strategy and this platform will form some of the basic building blocks we require to standardise our IT with other NHS organisations,” she said.

The trust’s current infrastructure is dispersed and is unable to authenticate clinical applications, meaning that sharing patient data between different departments is problematic.

The new directory, which has been designed and implemented by Insight Direct and subcontracted to IT services provider Esteem Systems, will allow applications to be delivered from a single platform.

“We have lots and lots of IT departments and lots of computer rooms and what we are trying to achieve is standard access to the IT in the hospital and across the service,” Jessop said. “It is an exciting time for the trust and we hope this will improve access between all of our hospitals.”

Leeds’ £7.4m capital programme for 2011-12 has already seen the deployment of order communications, digital dictation and speech recognition in certain areas, and the delivery of electronic discharge notes directly into the GP record.

Milestones for 2012-13 include the delivery of the clinical portal, deployment of self-check in kiosks across the trust’s outpatient areas, and the ability for GPs to place orders and receive results electronically for radiology and pathology.