The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has started the implementation of its new electronic patient record, Meditech.

According to eHealth Insider sources, the EPR has been live for the past two weeks and the first phase has proceeded “smoothly.”

In a statement to EHI, the trust confirmed the go-live and said: “The first phase of the new EPR system began to be implemented across Rotherham Hospital over the Diamond Jubilee weekend and this implementation will continue over the coming weeks.

“Subsequent phases will be rolled out over the next 18 months, at which point the organisation will consider its timetable for moving to ‘paperlite’ and subsequently to ‘paperless’.”

Phase one has incorporated a range of modules such as real time bed management including admissions, transfers and discharges, order communications and results, outpatient letters to GPs, discharge summaries.

A scheduling module, which includes new outpatient and follow-up appointments, waiting list and theatre scheduling, attendances outside clinic and non-theatre scheduling, has also been incorporated.

The Rotherham became one of the first NHS trusts to go outside the National Programme for IT in the NHS for an electronic patient record project.

It refused to wait for the Lorenzo system from local service provider CSC and decided to become the first trust in the UK to place an order for the Meditech v6.0 system from FileTek.

The EPR, which is being implemented with support from Dell, replaces the trust’s McKesson Totalcare patient administration system.

The Rotherham’s chief executive, Brian James, has put the project at the heart of an ambitious project to drive efficiency across the trust and secure its position in the new NHS market.

The EPR contract will see the trust spend an estimated £30-40m.

The trust had originally planned to go-live with the system in spring 2010. This was then rescheduled to October 2011.

EHealth Insider reported last October that the date was put back further by the Department of Health’s adoption of SNOMED CT healthcare terminology.

However, the latest statement from The Rotherham says that SNOMED CT will go-live during phase one of the installation, acting as the hospital’s method of coding clinical procedures three years before it is mandated by the NHS.

The EPR system will also produce statutory and management reports and incorporate a new master patient index, which will be used to register all patients.