The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has upgraded its Meditech electronic patient record system to version 6.07, three years after the troubled implementation of its predecessor.

The upgrade was completed early last month and the trust now plans to implement Meditech’s electronic prescribing and medicines administration module by April 2016.

A spokesperson for The Rotherham told EHI News that the EPR is now stable.

The trust’s initial deployment of Meditech in 2012, as part of a £21 million upgrade of its clinical systems, ran into serious difficulties.

The problems, which affected the booking of patient appointments as well as issues with clinician and staff acceptance and usability, contributed to an intervention by regulator Monitor in February 2013 and the hiring of external consultant, Larry Blevins, to conduct an immediate review of the system.

This led The Rotherham to deconstruct parts of Meditech, including the introduction of TPP’s SystmOne in its A&E service.

The spokesperson told EHI News SystmOne is no longer being used in A&E. The recovery programme for Meditech involved a “freeze on development except for a project in orthopaedic outpatients”. 

“This project was used as a vehicle for the redefining of project management and change control processes, reinforcement of governance arrangements and to re-energise clinical engagement," she said.

The Rotherham intends to use the experience with Meditech to guide its process for procuring a new community EPR. The trust needs to replace TPP’s SystmOne EPR before its contract expires in June 2016.

“The main lessons learnt from the 2012 implementation were the need for clinically led development, rigorous and transparent governance and project management.  All three of these are now embedded in our processes for clinical system change,” said the spokesperson.

This includes the formation of a Clinical Health Informatics Development group, comprising mainly trust clinicians and consultants, to advise on the process.

City Hospitals Sunderland plans to upgrade to Meditech V6.07 in May, according to board papers published in January this year.