Kent Community Health NHS Trust will start rolling out Advanced Community next month.

The community healthcare system will replace two electronic and various paper-based systems in a three-year contract covering the trust’s 5,400 staff.

The system includes referral management, care planning, assessments, patient records, bed management and appointment booking.

Kent’s head of ICT operations and telecommunications Eldon Macarthur said the phased roll-out starts next month in the clinic-based services such as podiatry and physiotherapy.

Advanced’ mobile solution, iNurse, will then be deployed to mobile teams such as community nurses.

Macarthur said staff would most likely access the system remotely from tablet devices.

“We’re expecting to cut down travel time and cut down time spent by nurse clinicians doing administrative tasks and increase face-to-face time with patients,” he explained.

Staff involved in pilots so far loved the system because of the reduction in administrative time, Macarthur added.

The trust’s benefits realisation plan shows a return on investment once the system is fully implemented in 1.5 years’ time.

‘Phase three’ would involve integration with GP systems, he said.

Kent Community Health was formed on 1 April 2011 from the merger of Eastern and Coastal Kent Community Services and West Kent Community Health.

Constant restructuring meant it took about three years to get a new IT system, said Macarthur.

The trust ran the procurement in parallel with the Southern Local Clinical Systems programme, that recently awarded a contract to TPP to provide its system to nine child and community health organisations in the South.

“We said we would run in parallel but ours came to fruition much much faster,” Macarthur explained.

He said the trust chose Advanced because of its consultative approach to the project.

“When they did their presentations to us and we saw their responses they seemed to be a very flexible, partner-oriented organisation, not tying you into an inflexible piece of software,” he said.

“Having seen the system in action at another trust it was very impressive – slick, fast, intuitive, and most importantly, it links with other systems. Quite simply, it will transform the way we work.”