Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust intends to roll out CSC’s MedChart electronic prescribing system across its hospitals early next year.

Board papers from April this year state: “Electronic prescribing plans are developed with an anticipated go live in quarter four 2015-16.”

This will supported by £409,000 in funding the trust received from the 'Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards: Technology Fund' to go towards electronic medicines management, prescribing, administration and discharge.

Speaking to Digital Health News, deputy director of information at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Steve Bloor, said that implementing e-prescribing was seen as one of the trust’s priorities for IT because of the potential to improve efficiency and reduce medication errors.

He added that the trust’s decision to go with MedChart was influenced by the system’s ability to interact with its patient administration system.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals currently has IMS Maxims’s 'Hearts' PAS in place but is looking to upgrade to the IMS Maxims platform as part of an “open source approach” to its IT.

The decision to install e-prescribing is one of the first steps in a ‘best of breed’ IT strategy the trust embarked on last year.

The trust has been working with the Portuguese supplier, Alert, and continues to use its solution in the A&E department and in a selected number of outpatient services. At the same time, it is looking to engage with third party suppliers.

The trust’s annual report 2013-14 gives further details of its revised IT strategy, which is “based on the integration of existing systems, along with the use of multiple specialist systems”.

“The aim over the next three years is to deliver a fully integrated community administrative and clinical system, electronic prescribing, electronic documentation storage, electronic referrals and a fully integrated acute patient administration and clinical system.”

Bloor said he expected the trust to have completed all aspects of the Clinical Digital Maturity Index by 2018.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals currently has a CDMI score of 74 on the ranking of trusts compiled by Digital Health Intelligence, based on information in its database.

The April board papers add that Blackpool Teaching Hospital has completed the go-live of the Emis EPR for its community services, just months after it announced it had chosen the system.

The trust has also received proposals from IMS regarding the replacement of its current A&E, theatres and patient administration system by their end of life dates.

“This will also provide full order communications and results reporting and a bed management system as well as laying the foundations for advanced scheduling, integrated care pathways, electronic forms and document management functions,” according to the papers.