Health IT industry veteran David Kwo will lead work on a replacement for University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s electronic patient record system.
Kwo’s appointment as director of electronic health record systems and informatics is one of a number of changes to the trust’s health informatics department that have been confirmed to EHI News.
A University College London Hospitals spokesperson said: “Improved use of technology and information is fundamental to our long term success, and we recognise that our current systems are not best placed to improve our day to day working lives and that we need to modernise at pace.
“We need strong and expert leadership as we develop and implement our strategy and we are pleased to announce three information technology leadership appointments.”
David Hill, previously the trust’s head of ICT business solutions, will become its director of digital services. Catherine Kelly, the current director of informatics for academic health science centre UCL Partners, will become the trust’s chief clinical information officer.
Kwo has held a number of high-profile appointments in NHS IT. In the late 1990s, he had a successful period as director of IT for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London, which uses an electronic patient record from IDX Systems (later bought by GE Healthcare).
Kwo went on to head the London ‘cluster’ for the National Programme for IT in the NHS, but parted company with the programme in 2005. IDX was chosen as London’s ‘strategic’ IT provider, but it was replaced by Cerner Corporation in 2006. However, its LastWord system is still the foundation of University College London Hospitals’ IT.
Kwo went on to advise The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust on its high-profile decision to leave the National Programme for IT in the NHS and to procure its own EPR. The trust chose Meditech v6.0 in 2009, but struggled with an implementation that was later blamed in part for financial problems that led to it being put into special measures by Monitor, which were relaxed last year.
More recently, Kwo has managed the implementation of the Epic EPR at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as part of its £200 million eHospital programme. The trust went live with Epic in a big-bang last autumn.
Kwo’s appointment could be seen as an indication that University College London Hospitals is likely to favour a big, American firm as its new EPR provider, and that it might well look at Epic.
Cambridge’s implementation has been of interest to the trust, with the board’s most recent meeting papers highlighting a February site visit to Cambridge by chairman Richard Murley and deputy chief executive Neil Griffiths to look at the IT programme.
“We took the opportunity to learn more about Cambridge’s move to be an ‘eHospital’ and in particular, their introduction of their electronic health records system in October 2014,” Murley told the board. “This radical move for Cambridge is a very interesting precedent for UCLH as we contemplate major changes in our approach to informatics.” The trust did not respond to a request for an interview with Kwo.