It has been nearly two weeks since Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust officially launched its new electronic patient record system, Lorenzo.

The project, which followed months of planning, involved thousands of paper-based patient records being transferred to the electronic system.

Stephen Posey, chief executive at Papworth Hospital said despite the huge challenge, staff worked incredibly hard to deliver high quality care to patients while getting used to a completely new system.

Within a week of the launch, more than 1,300 staff members had used the system and many are already starting to see the benefits it provides in terms of safe and efficient patient care”, Posey said.

A Papworth spokeswoman said one of the key benefits of Lorenzo is “the standardisation of systems and processes – for example our process for booking patient appointments”.

“Electronic prescribing is another real benefit – pharmacists are now getting clear information about what drugs need to be dispensed without having to waste time chasing for paper notes.”

The cross-over from its iSoft/CSC patient administration system, acquired during the era of the National Programme for IT, was deployed across the entire trust.

As is often the case with go-lives, changing work practices were an issue.

“One of the key challenges was that staff couldn’t train on a live system”, the spokeswoman said.

“This meant that it wasn’t until we started using the system after the launch that staff could see all the possibilities that if offers in terms of improving work processes”.

“During the first couple of weeks after the launch, it took staff longer to perform day-to-day tasks using the new system, which meant a lot of competition for the mobile ‘Computers on Wheels’ that clinical staff use for things like drug rounds.”

She said now that staff are getting quicker at using the system, it is becoming less of a problem.

Staff are receiving training to enable them to complete tasks – from dispensing and administering drugs to booking appointments and writing outpatient letters.

“Our ICT team has worked extremely closely with our operational and clinical teams to deliver the project safely and deal with issues as and when they arise”, Posey said.

He said the new EPR means that clinicians in all departments have up-to-date information relating to patient care, without having to wait for paper-based records to be transferred across the hospital.

“Over time, with easy access to the latest information, clinicians will be able to make quicker, better-informed decisions about patient care, reducing delays and improving the patient experience”, Posey said.

The launch of the new system is the first phase of the project and the hospital will now be working to optimise the system and make it work more effectively for individual departments and services.

Lorenzo, which is provided by DXC Technology provides integrated and interoperable real-time patient record.

Papworth Hospital is the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital treating more than 100,000 patients each year from across the UK.

Currently based in the village of Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire, Papworth Hospital will be moving to Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2018.