Three Liverpool trusts have picked InterSystems as their preferred electronic patient record supplier, potentially winning the US company its first global digital exemplar customer.

In what could be a £70 million dollar deal, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, have chosen InterSystems’ TrakCare for their joint EPR project.

The decision was disclosed in the Royal’s February board papers, which said “AUH and LWH have signed their EPR contracts with ISC. RLBUHT has signed an Advanced Work Agreement with ISC”.

The deal marks InterSystems’ biggest win in England to date, with only three other smaller NHS trusts currently using the TrakCare EPR.

While Royal Liverpool has yet to formally sign on with InterSystems, that partnership is likely to be a particularly significant.

Royal Liverpool trust is one of 16 global digital exemplar sites, which are being centrally funded to provide digital transformation blueprints for other trusts to follow. IT systems used by exemplar site are likely to be adopted widely as other, less digitally advanced trusts, follow.

David Walliker, chief information officer of the Royal and Aintree, said in a statement to Digital Health News: “Although Aintree Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital have signed a contract, we are currently dealing with InterSystems on a non-contractual basis, with agreement to work with them, subject to final business case approval by our regulators NHS Improvement.”

Liverpool Women’s and Aintree signed the contact with Intersystems in December 2016.

In Liverpool currently there are nine different EPRs used by different trusta, with the Royal operating a best of breed range of systems, several of them developed in-house.

The three trusts went to tender in November 2014 for an EPR system, worth up to £70 million.

The tender notice said the solution should address “the full scope of each trust’s incumbent PAS/EPR solution from the point of transition, [and] that may be further extended to cover the full scope of administrative and clinical functions”.

Walliker told Digital Health News in September last year that the EPR had been selected but it was waiting on NHS England sign off.

In Royal Liverpool’s February board papers, from the trust said there had been a four month delay in securing approval from NHS Improvement.

On Wednesday, Digital Health News reported that University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have had to rein in its paperless ambitions after NHS Improvement refused to fund its multi-million pound EPR bid. NHSI said this was because it would have “an unaffordable impact on the national capital resource limit”.

TrakCare is nearly ubiquitous in the NHS in Scotland but does not have a long history in England.

In May 2014, the system was also chosen in a joint tender by three southern acute trusts; Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Known collectively as the Smartcare trusts, Yeovil was the first to deploy TrakCare in June 2016, followed by Gloucestershire in December. Northern Devon has yet to deploy the system.

On Tuesday, Digital Health News reported that Gloucestershire has had to suspend reporting its referral to treatment times reporting because of data quality problems after deploying TrakCare.

Apart from the southern trio, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is the only other English trust to deploy TrakCare.

Royal Liverpool had been preparing for new EPR long before a supplier was picked.

In August last year, the trust digitalised tens of thousands of records, both ahead of  the new system and in preparation for the New Royal Hospital which is scheduled to open in September 2017.

Preparation for a new EPR stretch back to 2013, when the trust migrating 87 million images to its new SynApps vendor neutral archive in anticipating of the move.