Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has pushed back its go-live date for a new electronic patient record by more than three months to ensure it meets “standards of safety and performance”.
It is the latest delay in deploying the InterSystems’ TrakCare EPR, which had been pencilled in to go-live over the bank holiday, having previously been scheduled to go-live in November 2015.
The new EPR system is the single biggest investment the trust has ever made and is part of a wider SmartCare project to deploy InterSystems’ EPRs into three southern hospital trusts.
The other trusts involved are Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, both of which have yet to go live with TrakCare.
In a newsletter in September last year, Gloucestershire Hospitals announced the go-live would be pushed back to May this year for all three trusts, to avoid disruption during the busy winter period.
The delay would also allow Gloucestershire Hospitals to bring forward some features it had intended to rollout later, the newsletter added.
However, in an April newsletter, the trust said deployment of TrakCare at its hospitals would be delayed again and training for the new system “suspended”.
“We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we remain fully committed to the implementation of TrakCare and are confident that the many benefits we set out to deliver will be realised,” the newsletter said.
In a separate statement, chief executive Dr Frank Harsent said the delay would “ensure we meet our own standards for safety and performance”.
Last week, a spokeswoman for the trust said the latest go-live date for the first phase of the TrakCare rollout was now 9 September.
She could not comment on whether the initial deployment would be scaled back from the more ambitious rollout planned in May.
Once up and running, the trust has said TrakCare will keep staff constantly up dated with patient’s care, highlighting any special need, allergies or previous medical doses. It should also speed up the turnaround on tests, reduce medical errors and help support clinical decision-making.
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is hoping to go-live earlier, with a provisional launch of 11 June.
Tony Smith, medical lead for IT at the trust, said staff training was nearly complete and final preparations were underway to make sure the product and the business were ready.
If anything was not quite ready, the trust would reassess and potentially pushed back, he said.
“I think this is the best time,” he said. “If you keep putting things back you always get a reason not to go ahead. 11 June is that fine balance.”
Yeovil will initially go-live with a patient administration system, maternity and A&E systems. Later additions will include e-prescribing and clinical decision support.
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS has yet to deploy the TrakCare system after initially pushing back the date to May this year along with the other two SmartCare trusts.
On Thursday a trust spokeswoman said she was unable to give a firm date for when the system would be deployed.