Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is the first NHS trust to go-live with a maternity and pathology system from Cerner.

The trust has implemented Cerner’s PowerChart maternity and Fetalink systems as well as Bridge Specimen Collection for pathology.

Wirral’s director of informatics, Mark Blakeman, told EHI that the maternity wards were previously “very paper-based”.

“There wasn’t much maternity functionality at the trust. Now it’s almost completely electronic, including antenatal and community. We can get amazingly rich datasets from it,” he said.

Wirral is the first trust in the country to implement Fetalink. The system documents and displays the relationship between a foetus’ heart rate and its mother’s contractions to help clinicians better understand and react to the health of a baby during labour.

The trust’s director of informatics, Mark Blakeman told EHI that although the ‘innovative system’ has brought major new functionalities to the trust, there had been some teething issues.

“We are the first in the UK to use it and it’s quite different to how it’s used in the US, so there have been some significant challenges as we brought it over,” he said.

He added that the trust was planning on rolling out 22 Fetalink devices in total, but has only rolled out three so far due to some initial difficulties with the anglicisation of the product.

Dr Libby Shaw, an obstetrics and gynaecology consultant at the trust said clinicians are not yet comfortable with the system.

“We found that there were some issues that needed to be corrected to safely monitor the babies. They’ve got to have the confidence it will be safe for the baby before using it,” she said.

Wirral has also become the first in the country to use Cerner’s pathology system, where patients’ barcodes are scanned during specimen collection at the bedside.

All of the data, including information from the foetal monitors and pathology analysers, is integrated into the trust’s Millennium electronic patient record system.

Read more about the trust’s Millennium journey in Insight.