Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has chosen Allscripts as its preferred supplier for a new electronic patient record system to provide clinicians with a “heads-up display” of real-time information.

The trust is set to join Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who became the first UK trusts to go live with an Allscripts EPRs last year.

In July, the US clinical systems supplier announced that it had purchased patient administration systems supplier Oasis Medical Solutions to allow it provide a “single-source offering” to NHS trusts.

Stephen Dobson, the trust’s IM&T director, told EHI the trust “spent a good year or so” assessing the various options and engaging with clinicians before choosing the Allscripts EPR.

Dobson said the trust has previously taken a best of breed approach to its IT systems, “stitching together a lot of things using a portal”, but decided a “more clinically complex” system would be the best way forward.

“To get the full amount of decision support, you really need a different kind of system and as we’d built a best of breed system, we had a big hairball of integration.”

 “Allscripts is a very mature, very capable in-hospital system…I think what sets it apart is the fact that it’s in hundreds of hospitals worldwide, it’s a tried and tested solution.”

Dobson said the system has a strong decision support and logic model, as well as “one of the best e-prescribing systems in the world”.

Wrightington was set to become the first trust to implement Swedish clinical software firm Cambio’s Cosmic EPR after signing a contract in 2010, only to scrap the implementation two years later.

After choosing to leave the National Programme for IT, Dobson said the decision in 2010 to go for the Cambio system had been a “50/50 call” over simply upgrading its existing systems and waiting for new suppliers.

“We had an aging PAS, we wanted e-prescribing, and with some of the capability we wanted, they [Cambio] were the only ones at the time who fulfilled all our requirements.”

However, the trust pulled out of the agreement by mutual consent and decided to reconsider its options after the collapse of NPfIT brought more vendors into the market.

“It became apparent that there were other things on the market which had more advanced capability in some areas than Cambio, and they were cheaper, and with changes to the NHS’s IT strategy we thought we needed to take another look.”

Dobson said the suppliers on the trust’s shortlist took “two very different approaches” to their systems, with TPP the other candidate given serious consideration and rated highly impressed due to its “visionary vertical integration”.

However, clinicians preferred Allscripts due to its enhanced clinical capabilities.

The new EPR will function as a “heads-up display” for clinicians to provide them with real-time access to patient information as they move around the hospital.

“You wouldn’t fly a fighter jet these days without a heads-up unit, because it can give you instant information as you’re flying around, and this can be that for clinicians.”

The trust will use the EPR to become “completely paper-light across the hospital” by replacing paper with electronic forms, e-prescribing and automated alerts and algorithms, as well as starting day-forward scanning.

Dobson said the trust is also planning to develop patient and clinical portals, as well as using the EPR for business analytics, bed management and patient flows.

The trust is looking into mobile solutions such as the provision of iPads, as well as an upgrade of its wireless infrastructure.

Dobson said the finalised contract with Allscripts is likely to be signed soon, with work to start afterwards on a four-phase rollout over the next two to three years.

Allscripts declined to comment.