Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust has delayed the go-live of Cerner Millennium at Queen Elizabeth Hospital due to problems transferring 18-week referral to treatment data to the new system.
The hospital had been due to go-live in A&E this Sunday.
A statement from the trust says: “due to problems in transferring 18 week RTT patient data, we are delaying the launch of electronic patient records at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The new go-live date will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks".
The hospital was due to get the Cerner system delivered by BT under the London National Programme for IT contract with South London Healthcare NHS Trust.
In January 2013, the government announced that South London Healthcare would be dissolved. The trust said at the time this would not affect plans to implement Millennium, but a planned go-live of the EPR last year did not go ahead.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has since merged with Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, which also plans to implement Millennium under a separate contract. The go-live at University Hospital Lewisham trust was scheduled for the end of October, but may now be put back.
A Lewisham and Greenwich trust spokesperson said Queen Elizabeth Hospital's current system for patient records – McKesson’s Star – is more than 20 years’ old and needs upgrading.
The new EPR will include a patient administration system, maternity, A&E, theatres, electronic discharge summaries, order communications and results reporting and transfer to the new functionality will be phased over a week.
"The new Cerner system will bring a range of benefits, including improving how hospital staff share important information about patient treatment – such as test results – reducing duplication of patient assessments. It will also improve how we engage with GPs, providing electronic discharge summaries after treatment," the spokesperson said.
“We have been running a training programme to ensure staff are ready for the new system; this will continue until the go-live with refresher sessions.
An EPR Programme paper presented to Lewisham’s latest board meeting in February says it was planning to deploy at Queen Elizabeth on 23-24 March. The capital budget for the programme in this financial year is £1.3m.
The University Hospital Lewisham programme is still in configure stage, but a go-live has been set for 31 October and the capital budget for this financial year is £4.1m.
Overall, the Cerner 10-year contract value is recorded as £11.9m.
The paper identifies the top risks for the Queen Elizabeth deployment, including significant issues with regards to RTT and future appointments data, described as a "showstopper".
Also, problems with the transfer of various alerts to the new system, the operational readiness of the information department and inability to fill empty posts.
The top risks for Lewisham hospital deployment include the trust's and supplier's capacity to support two Cerner deployments and the affordability of the business case as costs rise due to the impact of delays at Queen Elizabeth.
A Cerner spokesperson said the company is working closely with Lewisham to ensure a smooth and safe transition to Millennium at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
"Once implemented, the system will give clinicians access to real time information about their patients across a number of clinical departments including surgery, maternity and A&E.
"The system will give clinicians the ability to rapidly order and receive pathology and radiology test results within the patient record, and also improve communication with GPs through electronic discharge summaries," the spokesperson said.