University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has approved a deal with US electronic patient record supplier Epic and plans to deploy the new system in 2019.

The contract is part of massive digital investment planned at the trust that also includes a new technology partnership with Atos and a contract with TeleTracking Technologies to provide new patient flow software.

While the total investment in this “transformation programme” has not been disclosed, the tender for the Atos contract alone said it was worth between £150 million and £400 million.

Digital Health News first reports that UCLH had selected Epic as a preferred supplier in November last year.

The full business care for Epic was approved by the trust’s board this month, but will still require sign-off by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

In a statement, the trust described it as the “final major piece of UCLH’s digital strategy”.

The transformation will be led by new chief executive Marcel Levi, who was picked in July last year started in January.

This is the second time he will be involved in an Epic deal, having been the chairman at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, which went live with the system in 2015.

In a statement, Levi said: “Our clinicians, nurses and other health care professionals will have access to all relevant patient information in one place.  We can make significant further improvements in patient safety. We’ll be able to collaborate with other healthcare partners, such as GPs, more easily.”

As well as being a single integrated clinical record for the trust, Epic will communicate with other patient systems, in particularly with partners across the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Plan, he said.

The area’s STP, essentially a plan for how a regions’ health and care organisation will work together to transform services and reduce costs,  is among the country’s most digitally ambitious. The STP is seeking an additional £159 million in central funding through to 2020 for digital projects, a sum that NHS digital leaders have already indicated should be “dialed back”.

The extend to which UCLH’s digital plans rely on this central funding is unclear.

UCLH is one of only four UK trust to pick Epic, with only one, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, deploying the system thus far.

That deployment caused major disruptions to care, massive cost overruns, and ultimately contributed to the trust being place in special measures. However, the trust has since bounced back, earned praised for its digital maturity, and last month was named as a global digital exemplar.

UCLH said it would be working with Cambridge and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, which also recently selected Epic, to best develop the system for the UK.

The trust is also looking at using Epic as part of its Cancer Vangaurd work with Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Royal Marsden does not currently use an Epic EPR.

The deployment of Epic in 2019 is designed to coincide with other big capital projects, such as the proton beam centre and new cancer hospital.

Related Content