Three southern hospital trusts due to go-live with InterSystems’ electronic patient record this month have delayed their roll-outs until spring 2016.

The SmartCare collaboration of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust announced in May 2014 that it had chosen InterSystem from a shortlist of three EPR suppliers.

The trusts were planning to go-live with TrakCare this month, but have chosen to delay to increase the level of clinical use at go-live and due to issues with the system build and the onset of winter pressures.

A Gloucestershire trust newsletter for September says the organisation has decided to combine the first two stages of the roll-out programme and go-live in May 2016.

“This will not only improve the ability for meaningful clinical use at go-live, but also moves away from the winter pressures period when staff are at their busiest,” the report says.

The “enhanced go-live” will include the replacement of the patient administration systems and the roll-out of order communications and a pathology system.

Northern Devon’s EPR programme Director Mike Jones told Digital Health News the trust developed a plan over the summer to go-live in spring 2016

“This ensured our key principles were met including training our staff on a system which closely mirrors the live system to enable the transition to be as smooth as possible,” he explained.

“We are using the lessons learned from other trusts who have been through this process to ensure we see the benefits of the system from day one. We will be working towards testing before Christmas with a view to starting the training of our staff in the New Year."

Jones added that the focus in this period is around the pharmacy elements of the English edition of TrakCare and the referral to treatment functionality.

Minutes of the Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Board meeting on 30 September rate the project as ‘red’ for risk.

The main issue was a delay to the critical system build, which would affect the go-live date of 16 November.

“Further re-planning with the supplier, InterSystems, had identified the implementation of phase 1 could not be completed this side of winter,” the report says.

Yeovil is also planning to roll-out in Spring 2016.

The report says there is “increased input and resource on-site from the supplier and, as a result, progress has improved significantly”.

The SmartCare grouping is one of six collaborations involving 23 acute trusts in the South that received little or nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

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