New research from EHI Intelligence has concluded that English acute trusts are looking at spending £2.7 billion on electronic patient records over the next six years.

The report – ‘Electronic patient records: the £2.7 billion opportunity’ – focuses on how NHS trusts will pick up the pieces from the long wind-down of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, which largely failed in its key task of delivering detailed care records to hospitals.

It concludes that trusts will be taking three approaches; buying new systems from a single supplier, looking to adopt a ‘best of breed’ approach by building on the IT systems that they have, and trying to undertake their own development.

It identifies the different approaches that individual trusts are likely to take, and costs the market activity that will be needed to deliver the plans.

Overall, EHI Intelligence has identified 120 trusts that will be looking for patient administration and electronic patient record systems over the next few years.

Paul Smith, EHI’s research director, said: “There is clearly unfinished NPfIT business in both the South and the North, Midlands and East, where CSC’s contract negotiations with the Department of Health are due to come to a head next week.

“Nevertheless, many trusts are already making big and expensive decisions about how to get their IT from where it is to where it needs to be.

“The good news for buyers is that there are new entrants and new approaches to try. The bad news is that the direction of government policy, and the end of NPfIT, means that trusts have less support to make these decisions in a time of uncertainty.”

The report also outlines the current market share of PAS and EPR suppliers, and assesses their chances of retaining and expanding their market share.

It concludes that some incumbents will face significant challenges, and that there is significant scope for new entrants to the market, as has already been shown by some recent wins for the US companies Epic and Allscripts.

The ‘Electronic patient records: the £2.7 billion opportunity’ report is priced at £995 and can be purchased by contacting EHI Intelligence’s sales manager Dan Read.

The report is the first part of this year’s Market Forecast Report from EHI Intelligence, which will be published in full in November. All of the reports in the series are based on data held in the EHI Intelligence NHS Trust Database, which holds validated data on the major IT systems in use across the NHS, original interviews and expert analysis of tenders and other documents.

For more information about EHI Intelligence, the market forecast series and the database, visit EHI Intelligence’s dedicated webpages