Nearly 3,000 staff at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust have moved over to the Lorenzo electronic patient record after a successful go-live.

The southern trust switched to CSC’s EPR on 30 October and Laurence Arnold, the trust’s corporate development director, told Digital Health News that despite some difficulties the system was up and running.

“The staff have been exceptional, particularly in the emergency department,” he said. “Lorenzo gives them the opportunity to view the whole of the patient pathway in one place.”

Lorenzo has been deployed in the trust’s emergency departments and across all inpatient wards and outpatient clinics.

It has replaced the iPM patient administration system developed by iSoft, which was bought by CSC, and the Symphony system previously used in the emergency department. It has interfaces into 20 other systems that the trust uses.

Arnold said while the EPR has the capability to eliminate paper use in the trust the trust was starting with hybrid approach.

Admissions, triage assessments and discharges are being recorded electronically, but clinical notes are still largely paper-based across inpatient and outpatient admission.

The trust will start to shift towards electronic clinical notes with outpatients first, starting with outcomes in the next 12 months.

“We need to get it working with outpatients first, where the pace is a little less frenetic.”

The deployment is proceeding “ok at the moment”, with few issues in the first week, none of which have affected patient safety, Arnold said.

Some patient information has not migrated from the previous PAS and will have to be manually entered into Lorenzo.

There have also been some problems connecting Lorenzo to printers and scanning documents into system for the emergency department.

The trust plans to bring theatres, maternity, pathology and radiology into Lorenzo next year and e-prescribing the following year.

Arnold said the EPR was key to the trust’s plan to go paperless and broader regional plans to share more information across health and social care organisations.

“We need to link our data to other data from other organisations. That’s where we think the big gains will be found.”

Salisbury has taken an unusual route to deploying the Lorenzo EPR, which was destined for deployment in trusts across North, Midlands and East during the National Programme for IT.

Salisbury opted out of NPfIT entirely. It was one of seven trusts that reached a deal with CSC to stick with their existing iSoft systems before the programme started.

As a southern trust, it would otherwise have been due to implement Cerner Millennium. The ‘iSoft7’ deal was later extended to 2016, and in August last year Salisbury picked Lorenzo as its new system.

The trust is one of only three to deploy Lorenzo outside the NME, along with North Bristol NHS Trust and Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Digital Health Intelligence: holds information on the clinical systems installed at trusts across the UK and uses this to calculate a Clinical Digital Maturity Index score. Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust had a score of 53 / 95 before its Lorenzo deployment and was ranked 149 / 152 (subscription / log-in required).