The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust has chosen Meditech for a new electronic patient record system, as it moves towards opening a new, £118m specialist cancer hospital in 2018.

The trust has signed a ten-year, £7.5m contract with supplier Centennial MIT to implement Version 6.0 of the Meditech EPR.

Clatterbridge signed a contract with IMS Maxims in 2002 outside of the National Programme for IT for a patient administration system, with Ascribe providing pharmacy and e-prescribing systems.

Thomas Poulter, the trust’s IM&T director, told EHI the trust ran an OJEU competitive dialogue procurement to find a new system and wanted to make sure the replacement at least matched the functionality of its existing software.

“As a minimum, we needed to contract for the functionality we already had, because it’s fair to say we’re quite advanced already from an EPR perspective, and the systems we’re planning to replace have served us well over a number of years.”

Poulter said the trust chose Meditech because of its flexibility and level of integration, as well as its ability to meet its specialised requirements.

 “It stood out as being the best integrated and comprehensive system, and it met more of our detailed functional requirements as an oncology centre.

 “Other trusts have referral to treatment time targets and a functionality safeguard for that: we do as well, but there is much more of an emphasis on cancer waiting time targets.”

The Meditech system will also be able to handle the complexity of electronic prescribing for chemotherapy, which is based on individual patient doses and must follow tight guidelines.

Poulter said the EPR project team went on a number of site visits to look at how the system is used within oncology departments, including the Hays Memorial Hospital in Kansas.

The trust will implement an Anglicised version of the system’s oncology module, as a ‘first of type’ deployment within the NHS.

Poulter said the trust’s work on the EPR is intended to support its Transforming Cancer Care project, based on a £118m specialist cancer project in the heart of Liverpool with a planned opening date of 2018.

He said the new EPR will allow staff to more easily access records when working between the new hospital, its existing Wirral site and other clinics.

It will also support health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s ambitions for the NHS to go paperless by 2018, with the trust already making “good progress” towards becoming paper-light.

 “We don’t expect to have a physical medical records library in the new hospital, so by the time it’s bedded in, we’ve got some time to make any adjustments we need to.”

Poulter said there are a number of neighbouring trusts who also use the Meditech system, including the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Alongside the EPR project, the trust is scanning the records of its 22,000 active patients into its Evolve electronic document and records management system to build a digital case file.

The trust has also signed a contract with CACI for a data warehouse and electronic dashboards project. And it is planning a network upgrade to replace its wireless internet connections and provide Voice over IP and Unified Communications solutions.

Poulter said the trust is still working on detailed EPR implementation planning, and is preparing to formally initiate the project in September this year.

Phase one of the implementation, replacing the core PAS and EPR functionality that is already in place, will take place in October next year.

A second phase in April 2016 will focus on enhancing the new system’s functionality ahead of the opening of the new hospital.

EHI reporter Sam Sachdeva visited the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral to hear about the trust’s IT strategy and EPR implementation plans. Read all about it here.