Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust went live with its Allscripts electronic patient record system on Wednesday.

The trust has been working towards the go-live for the past 15 months and has deployed the system across the hospital.

Dr Johan Waktare, the trust’s clinical lead for EPR and consultant cardiologist, told EHI that apart from a few minor hiccups, the go-live had gone very well.

“It went up at 7am (Wednesday) and we’ve had a very successful go-live. What’s been so interesting is that we switched on everything simultaneously. It went live everywhere at once.” he said.

“It was a bit painful for the first few hours, but no red flags. The main issue was that some of our staff hadn’t bothered to get their Windows log-ins, so our head of IT got a new job as a log-in engineer for a little bit.”

Although the EPR is now live across the trust, some wards are running on reduced activity for the first few days, to “make it all manageable”.

“Whilst we had a single activation, we have a graduated uptake. Patients who came in before 7 am yesterday and were already on paper will stay on paper and we will scan on demand. But anyone who came in afterwards, we’re processing electronically,” said Dr Waktare.

“In principle all my colleagues will not touch paper records again.”

The trust has been working closely with US company Allscripts to implement the system the way clinicians wanted it.

Order communications, test results, clinical documentation, nursing observations, nursing documentation, patient flow and electronic document management are some of the functionalities that are live.

Dr Waktare explained that the trust had originally planned to keep its JAC electronic prescribing and medicines administration system, but wasn’t able to interphase it, so decided to switch.

“So right now all processed patients remain on JAC, but new patients will be on the Allscripts system,” he explained, adding that the trust will make a systematic switch over the next few weeks until everyone is on the new system.

The trust decided to keep its Silverlink patient administration system, which now feeds data into the EPR.

Dr Waktare put the successful go-live down to great engagement from the trust executives and other staff, as well as the project being led by clinicians.

“The fact that the project has been so clinically led is really important to its success,” he said.

“The Allscripts team, many of which have been flown in for the go-live, have also been amazing.”

The trust trained 10% of staff as ‘expert users’ and ensured all areas had these experts in place during go-live.

Dr Waktare said there is still more to implement.

“There are lots more things to do over the next few months. We’re going to get a patient portal and a clinical portal and we want to fill it with lots of good content,” he said.

“There’s also an internal email system on the EPR and we’ll be moving over to use that much more for messaging among ourselves.”

The trust will also introduce more equipment into the EPR such as ECG results, which are being scanned in.

“The EPR will require optimisation in terms of content. We’ve gone live with electronic versions of paper forms, but we will optimise them for electronic use over the next few months,” said Dr Waktare.

Liverpool Heart and Chest has 208 beds.