Electronic patient records have reached two of the remoter parts of the UK, with the deployment of InterSystems’ TrakCare to Shetland and Orkney.

The system will be hosted by NHS Grampian, which has already adopted the system as part of a national contract that will eventually see it deployed as a single patient management system for Scotland.

The health board and the company say the latest deployment will particularly benefit patients who need complex care for conditions such as cancer, since it will make it easier to share information between multi-disciplinary teams.

This is encouraging the introduction of new ways of working, such as teleconferencing, video-conferencing and video- assessment; which should save money by reducing the number of trips that medical staff and patients need to make the mainland.

In a statement, Dr Steve Baguley, clinical director of NHS Grampian, said: “TrakCare makes it much easier for clinicians working between boards to get a more complete view of the patients they are treating. Having access to up-to-date, comprehensive information means they can make the best decisions.”

InterSystems has a long relationship with the NHS in Scotland. It initially secured a deal with five health boards that wanted to use the system, and in 2010 this became a contract with NHS Scotland, which built its eHealth strategy around a single PMS for the country.

The core contract covers patient administration system functionality, scheduling, order communications, and test reporting, while boards can call off additional modules, such as departmental systems and e-prescribing; which remains relatively rare in Scotland.

The TrakCare installation in Shetland and Orkney is an extension of NHS Grampian’s exiting implementation. Data will be hosted on the mainland, and available to clinicians anywhere in the region.

The three health boards involved worked together closely on data migration and training, with staff from the islands visiting Grampian to get experience on the system before it went live. They are now looking at further developments.

Mark Palmer, the country manager for InterSystems UK, said: “NHS Grampian’s extension of TrakCare to these two additional boards in Scotland demonstrates the value that [it] brings.

“We are pleased that TrakCare is now used in 90% of Scottish NHS boards, and we hope that there will continue to be collaboration on a national level to ensure the continuity of care for every patient in Scotland.”