Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has reached the top of EHI's Clinical Digital Maturity Index following the roll-out of e-prescribing across all directorates.

The trust, which uses the Cerner electronic patient record system, joins King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, and the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the top positions.

Oxford's director of IM&T John Skinner told EHI News the new CDMI ranking reflects the progress the trust has made in implementing an EPR and other IT solutions.

"It's been very important internally for us to put in e-prescribing to reach a level of digital maturity. We have made a lot of progress and this is a reflection of that," he said.

Oxford began a seven stage e-prescribing roll-out across all directorates last October and finished this month. It now administers more than 20,000 drugs every day on the system, which includes some clinical decision support.

"The general view is that it's safer and improved quality. Change is always difficult so some staff have taken to it more than others, but generally we've had very positive feedback," said Skinner.

Within a month of go-live, staff were able to administer medication just as quickly on the system as they could on paper. The trust has also implemented order communications for all of inpatient services and most of outpatients. 

While it has been doing some scanning in some areas, Oxford is in the process of procuring a trust wide document management solution. It has already gone completely paperless in neurosciences intensive care unit and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre is paper-lite.

"The next big push once we've moved out of the BT data centre to the Cerner data centre will be to go paperless in other areas," Skinner explained.

Oxford is one of a number of Cerner trusts in London and the South that need to move out of the BT data centre before their National Programme for IT contracts expire in October.

It has has chosen to stick with its Cerner EPR under an individual contract. Skinner said the national programme worked well for the trust, but it is keen to "move faster under our own steam."

"Moving to paper-lite or paper free is a long journey. I'm very pleased with the progress thus far and we will continue to work with our partners to implement our strategy."

The CDMI gives a score and rank for each of the 158 acute NHS trusts in England, based on a nine level model of a hospital’s administrative and clinical systems, populated by data from the EHI Intelligence Database.

Karl Grundy, head of EHI Intelligence, said being top of the rankings means Oxford has all the core systems needed to achieve health transformation through the enablement of digital technology. 

"It is now down to leadership, culture and making sure they are using the technology effectively that will enable them to achieve better delivery of care," he said.