Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust has chosen Servelec Healthcare’s RiO as its electronic patient record for community services, and announced that it will work with Patients Know Best on a fully integrated patient portal.

The announcement comes a year after the trust said it had been given the green light by the NHS Trust Development Authority to invest £13 million in a “state of art” EPR.

The RiO contract is for eight years and was awarded after a procurement process supported by NHS Shared Business Services, which earlier this year set up a framework contract aimed particularly at trusts moving off national contracts

Gill Bell, the programme manager at the trust, told Digital Health News that NHS SBS was the trust’s procurement adviser, making its framework contract the “natural route” to take.

Bell also explained that Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership needed a new community system as the trust was formed from the merger of several primary care trusts, each with its own system.

“We are going to be able to manage to put data from four patient administration systems onto one system so we can start sharing information across Staffordshire. The capability for internal referrals between our teams is going to be a massive benefit for us.”

Adrienne Edge, district nursing community practice educator added: “The RiO system for me will move us from a fragmented unworkable system to a co-ordinated system that should meet individual needs.”

The first phase of RiO implementation is set to begin in November 2015 when Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership plans to install the system in its community hospitals as well as some community teams in North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.

This will be followed by community and child health teams based in South Staffordshire, which are scheduled to go live with RiO in early 2016.

Once the implementation is complete the trust, which serves a population of 1.1 million people, said care plans, clinical documentation and making of appointments will be done electronically. Bell said: “Our plan is we will go paper-lite.”

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership also has plans to deploy Patients Knows Best, a patient portal that allows patients to own a version of his or her patient record that they can manage and control who has access to information.

The trust said the system, which will be fully integrated with RiO, will allow staff to talk to patients on line using Skype and secure messages.

Patients can also integrate personal devices into Patients Know Best, including exercise trackers such as FitBit or a glucose monitor. This allows patients to feed extra data into the system so doctors can keep track of patient information in real time.

Bell said: “We see Patients Know Best as being massive because a lot of the time, when you are dealing with long term conditions and patients being treated at home, it is about them owning that care and doing self-management.”

Servelec’s chief executive, Alan Stubbs, has previously discussed how the ‘refresh’ of national EPR contracts in 2016 has provided his company with several opportunities.