Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust has joined three other acute NHS trusts at the top of the pile in EHI Intelligence’s Clinical Digital Maturity Index.

The trust has improved ten points on its ranking in the inaugural CDMI last year, rising 12 places to the joint number one spot.

The trust joins Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the top positions.

EHI Intelligence published its inaugural CDMI in November last year, with a score and rank for each of the 160 acute NHS trusts in England (now 158).

At the heart of the CDMI is a nine level model of a hospital’s administrative and clinical systems, populated by data from the EHI Intelligence database.

Kings College, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Newcastle Upon Tyne were all number one in the inaugural rankings, having implemented all 27 systems in the model, which captures the increasing complexity and interdependence of administrative and clinical IT.

The latest version of the CDMI, which is supported by NHS England, also shows that the average score for a trust has increased by four points, from 66 in 2013 to 70 in 2014.

Karl Grundy, head of EHI Intelligence, said the implementation of electronic prescribing systems, backed by NHS England’s technology fund, has helped trusts to improve their scores.

“That’s one obvious area where people have gained points and gone up the ranking table: they’ve got money from the tech fund, and people accept there is a business case to be made for e-prescribing.”

Trusts that have fallen back in the rankings have largely done so because they have been outstripped by the performance and investment of other trusts, Grundy said.

“Trusts who were digitally more mature a year ago haven’t lost their maturity, but others are now more mature than them because they’ve invested more in their systems.”

He said the CDMI has provoked conversations within trusts about their digital maturity and helped them to make the case for greater investment in technology.

“Senior people in organisations are definitely having more conversations [about their IT] than they previously did. This gives them a very important piece of work and data that they can use to effect change.”

The fact that NHS England included a question about the CDMI in the technology fund application process is also encouraging, he said.

At EHI Live 2014 in Birmingham today, Grundy also announced the launch of a new web service, including a redesigned research database and better presentation and navigation of data.

“People will be able to cut and dice the data, build their own charts and tables, see people’s CDMI scores right across the site – a lot of it is about improving how we display the data,” he said.

Grundy said service users will be able to access all of the new data for the CDMI, with a range of new data coming soon.