The electronic patient record Lorenzo is now in use at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It went live over the weekend of 21 November, around nine months after the trust announced it had successfully received central funding from the Department of Health to support the implementation of the system.

In a statement, the trust said extra support was put in place for staff to help them use the new software for the first time. This included Lorenzo users from other hospitals.

The whole of the trust is now live on Lorenzo, including maternity and A&E and all wards doing clinical documentation. In total, around 2,800 staff members have received training on the EPR.

Jason DaCosta, director of IT at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said that the implementation of Lorenzo is “arguably the biggest change ever to happen at the hospitals."

He added: “Our go live impacted on every member of staff across the hospitals and overall went very smoothly. Staff have got used to the system quickly and we only had minor teething problems.

“It’s still relatively early days and we are carefully monitoring the go live to ensure that all aspects are working as planned and we are up to date with information from the cutover period as we moved from our old system to Lorenzo. The initial signs so far are good.”

Professor Simon Constable, medical director at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said that Lorenzo will enable the trust to rduce the amount of inforaiton captured on paper by 80% and that the trust will have “fully accurate bed information at the touch of a button."

“All of this is important in terms of day to day care, ensuring for the first time all members of the clinical team looking after a patient have access to their up-to-date electronic medical history.”

Cheshire-based Warrington and Halton has had plans to its Meditech EPR system for some time, announcing in August 2012 that it wanted to overhaul its old patient administration system at an expected cost of £6 million. 

The launch of Lorenzo builds on the trust’s progress in IT, which includes scanning legacy paper notes and the adoption of a Warrington Wide Portal.

The trust said its priorities are now to work on further clinical optimisation and to progress with phase two of the Lorenzo implementation, including plans for electronic prescribing and static care. The ultimate ambition for the trust is to become HiMSS Stage 7 compliant.

Lorenzo was originally meant to be installed across the NME region as part of the National Programme for IT, but a series of development and deployment delays led to the original contract being amended.

The new deal removed CSC’s exclusive right to provide Lorenzo to the area, but made central funding available to trusts who still wanted to purchase the EPR; as long as they provided a robust business case.

Following a freedom of information request from Digital Health News earlier this year, the DH confirmed that 11 trusts had taken advantage of this offer, ten of which had received the maximum available support package of £3.1 million. 

Some trusts outside the NME who do not have access to the central DH fund are also looking at implementing Lorenzo. The system went live at North Bristol NHS Trust in November, while Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has chosen CSC as the preferred bidder to for its EPR programme.