Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust will use its funding from the first round of NHS England’s technology fund to improve integration between the Somerset Cancer Register and trusts’ electronic patient record systems.

Taunton is among 131 trusts that were successful in their bids for the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund’, as announced by NHS England.

The trust has received £228,000 for “making the Somerset Cancer Register become an Electronic Cancer Patient Record”.

The register went national in 2009 and allows clinicians to access up-to-date patient information when they need it, anywhere within a hospital setting.

It allows hospitals to track a patient from GP referral through to treatments and follow-up to cover their entire cancer experience.

Taunton IT director Malcolm Senior told EHI the tech fund money is for the trust’s work on developing interfaces between the register and EPRs and patient administration systems.

Senior said the work will help to avoid unnecessary duplication of administrative data, such as appointment information and a patient’s basic details, that currently needs to be manually entered into the register.

“There is a fair amount of double data entry required, because at the moment there aren’t feeds that allow you to update directly from the clinical systems.”

Senior said the trust is developing HL7-compliant links to connect an EPR and PAS with the register so admission, discharge and transfer data and tertiary referral information can be captured in real time, rather than entered retrospectively by hospitals.

 “We want to keep up to date with what’s happening in the market, and make sure we’re as compliant as all the others with data standards.”

Senior said the interface for the ADT information has been tested and “looks good to go”, with work on the tertiary referral link now taking place.

The tech fund money will ensure that the more than 90 trusts who use the register can receive the new development, he said.

“Normally what you have to do with these kinds of developments is charge out to cover the cost, but because it’s funded we don’t need to do that.”