The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has chosen to replace its “ageing” Barwick patient administration system with Ascribe’s latest PAS, CaMIS.

The five year contract will see the system deployed in a “big bang” installation in the second quarter of 2013, as the trust progresses towards an electronic patient record.

James Rawlinson, associate director of IT services at the trust, told eHealth Insider the system is an extension to the current PAS contract and that one of the key factors behind the decision was “reducing the risk” that often occurs when changing systems.

“One of the key things for us was around data management as our current product is so old. This is a five year contract which will allow us to upgrade the Barwick PAS to Ascribe’s current system.

“We have been using Ascribe’s Barwick PAS for around 20 years. Our financial problems are widely and publically known so we needed a system that was low-risk, cost effective and positive for the trust,” he explained.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals is facing a deficit of £24m this year and £26m next year, and is looking at centralising emergency, acute medicine and maternity services at one site in response.

Yesterday, the non-executive directors of the trust quit, saying they could not remain in office because of the “continuing impact of the poor financial performance of the trust”, which has also had to admit it will not achieve foundation status by the government’s target of April 2014.

Like many trusts in the North, Midlands and East of England, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals had been expecting to deploy CSC’s electronic patient record, Lorenzo, as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

However, the failure of the programme to deliver the system has forced it to explore the market for alternatives over the past two years.

Rawlinson said Ascribe, which also provides the trust with systems in its emergency department, medical hardware tracking, and an endoscopy suite, has “bundled in deployment costs” and the trust will be able to use all modules from the company for all licensed users.

CaMIS is delivered within Ascribe’s Health Application Platform, which the company believes will provide users with access to all of the clinical modules required to deliver a full EPR and clinical portal.

Rawlinson believes the new system will prove easier to use for clinicians, providing them with greater functionality.

“The new PAS has a lot more functionality. For example, our current PAS, Barwick, doesn’t even know what a bed is, so this system will provide clinicians with more information allowing them to make better informed choices.”

The system has the capacity to offer cross-departmental systems such as e-prescribing and Rawlinson said the trust has set up a group to examine the possibility of implementing such a system. However, he also said the contract did not necessarily mean the trust would implement an Ascribe EPR.

“Our view is that this is a five year deployment and during that period we will be appraising a range of full blown electronic patient record products looking to test the market,” he said.