Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has chosen Servelec’s RiO electronic patient record system for community health services as part of an £8 million investment in a new EPR.

The RiO EPR will replace Northern Devon’s current in-house community system, ComPAS, and will support services in a “flexible way, online and offline”, according to the trust.

The EPR is also fully interoperable with the InterSystems TrakCare EPR, which Northern Devon is implementing across inpatient services at North Devon District Hospital and at community hospitals across north, east and central Devon.

Once all systems are live, the trust will operate a full EPR across all inpatient, outpatient, acute, community and home-based services.

Northern Devon received Treasury approval earlier this year for an £8 million investment in an EPR covering the trusts’ inpatient and outpatient services, including North Devon District Hospital and all community hospitals.

Mike Jones, the trust’s IT director of information management and technology, said: “Our existing IT system which currently supports our acute and community services is nearing the end of its useful life, and our implementation of the new systems is in time for the withdrawal of support for this system by the supplier.

“Our community teams across north, east and mid Devon are already using mobile devices to record care data on our current patient record system, so the next steps to build a robust full electronic health record system with increased functionality is a very exciting development for us.”

The RiO procurement was based on the collaborative process used to pick InterSystems’ TrakCare as the acute EPR for the three trusts in the SmartCare programme, which included Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as well as Northern Devon.

During a recent EHI Health CIO Network best practice webinar, Jones outlined the procurement work of the SmartCare programme as part of the South Local Clinical Systems programme, formed of six collaborations involving 23 acute trusts in the South that received little or nothing from the National Programme for IT.

The collaborations were formed to buy a variety of IT systems with central funding support.

Speaking in the webinar, Jones said Northern Devon partnered with Yeovil and Gloucestershire after meeting a number of trusts across the region, and then embarked on developing a rigorous procurement process for an acute EPR system with a focus on strong clinical buy-in.

The outcome was the decision to pick InterSystems’ service for all three trusts, although Jones noted that the process was also suitable for Northern Devon’s decision to go with RiO as its community EPR.

“SmartCare is a vehicle for change,” he said. “We’ve taken what was a collaborative brand and now are using that to think about what we want to change in Devon.”