Whittington Health has purchased an electronic patient record system from System C, a McKesson company, using £5m in capital funding awarded by the Department of Health.

The integrated care organisation will replace the Whittington hospital’s patient administration system and the RiO community system with Medway in a phased implementation over 2013-14.

The £5m cash injection was part of an extra £330m in capital funding announced by the DH in March this year.

Whittington Health chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said in a recent trust newsletter that the new system will also interface with GP and social care systems and include a patient portal.

“Patients can ‘log-in’ to their Whittington Health accounts, see and save test results and letters, as well as manage outpatient appointments on-line,” she said.

Whittington Health purchased Medway from System C, a McKesson company, after a four month procurement using the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity framework.

Systems purchased include the PAS, accident and emergency, maternity, theatres and the clinical data collection module.

Glenn Winteringham, the organisation’s IT director, said Medway was selected because it is “fast, modern, flexible and a good match for NHS requirements.”

“The System C people are knowledgeable and experienced, and have an excellent track record for delivery,” he added.

Whittington Health was established on 1 April last year following the merger of NHS Islington’s and NHS Haringey’s community provider services and The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust.

An NHS London capital investment document says the new organisation is investing £7.1m in the implementation, with Medway due to go live in April 2013.

The document says the organisation currently runs three legacy patient administration systems that do not integrate and “as such are not fit for purpose for the effective running of an integrated care organisation.”

The new EPR will integrate fully with EMIS Web, allowing GPs to access Whittington Health electronic patient records on-line and allowing secondary care clinicians to access primary care records held in EMIS Web.

This aligns with the North Central London IT strategy to roll out EMIS Web to all GP practices, the report says.

The EPR system will also provide patients with on-line access to their records and “significantly improve patient communications by using e-mail and text reminder communications.”

A corporate objectives 2012-13 report to the trust board this month says that electronic communication with GPs will become standard this year, with 100% of discharge letters sent to GPs within two working days.

Also, that 50% of all communication with patients is to be electronic by 2012-13, and 75% by the following year.

Whittington Health’s two community services currently use RiO. Contracts are due to expire from mid-2015, when the trust will incur an annual maintenance and support cost.

“Implementing the EPR will enable cost avoidance to the [organisation] of £4m per year to use RiO (indicative quotes from BT are £2m per instance of RIO and the [organisation] has two – Islington and Haringey),” the investment document says.

Additionally, Whittington Health would need to replace its legacy PAS by March 2014 at capital cost of up to £1.5m and an annual support and maintenance cost of £250,000 and capital charges of about £200,000.

The document says the trust is getting good value for money, as each deployment of Cerner Millennium in London cost on average £31m, and each deployment in the South cost £36m.

It adds that The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust has already invested £5m of local capital in recent years to implement a modern, fast, secure resilient IT infrastructure, which provides the platform on which to run the EPR.

The DH funding announced in March appears to have come from claw backs on National Programme for IT in the NHS contracts.

A DH spokeswoman told eHealth Insider: “Tighter financial controls mean the government has made savings on planned IT systems delivery during this financial year. This has meant projects can be funded which will directly benefit patients.”

The Whittington EPR project is one of very few IT projects to receive funding, with most of the money going towards hospital redevelopments and equipment such as CT scanners.

Three other trusts – Buckinghamshire, Royal United Hospital Bath and Mid-Cheshire – have been awarded funding that will be partly invested in IT.