North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has completed a major piece of work to combine two patient administration systems (PAS) following a merger in 2017.

The project saw 1.67 million current and archived patient records transferred from two separate patient administration systems into one “bespoke” PAS from System C.

At the same time, the trust merged the systems in use in its emergency departments and theatres across Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals, to provide greater continuity across its sites.

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust was created on 1 April 2017 through the merger of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust.

Under a multi-million pound digital strategy, the new trust signed a seven-year contract with System C to deploy Medway across its sites.

The Medway PAS will also serve trust patients using outpatient and radiology services at Doddington Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely.

David Pratt, director of finance, and executive sponsor of the project, said: “This new system takes us another step further in unifying our trust since the merger of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals with Hinchingbrooke Hospital in April 2017.

“Our clinical staff who work across our hospital sites have previously had to navigate two different clinical systems to perform key tasks, such as looking up test results, accessing patient correspondence and dictating letters. Our new Patient Administration System provides one system for all these functions. This enables us to provide more seamless care for patients and will improve safety and increase efficiency.

Hospital staff were forced to revert to pen and paper while the switchover took place, Pratt said.

Pratt also revealed that the implementation involved connecting 46 separate clinical computer systems to the new PAS at the point of go-live, calling it “a tense process.”

“Staff were fantastic in dealing with this while keeping our services running as normal,” he added.

“They have been undertaking training to familiarise themselves with the new arrangements and this has gone well, with more than 4,000 individuals completing training.

“Our teams have worked hard to keep the impact on patients to a minimum. I would like to thank any patients who may have noticed a change to the usual services while the new system has been embedded in the past few weeks.”

‘A massive and complex deployment’

Beverley Bryant, chief operating officer of System C, said: “This has been a massive and complex deployment exercise. The new Medway software replaces two separate patient record systems and the project has involved combining data and standardising processes from both.

“We are delighted that the trust and System C teams have worked so well together to deliver our 26th successful hospital PAS deployment.”

The data migration portion of implementation was handled by Stalis Ltd, which transferred data from the two legacy systems into the new Medway PAS from System C.

Andrew Meiner, managing director at Stalis, called the contract “the most complex project Stalis has completed to date.”

He explained: “The data migration included two legacy systems, matching and merging 1.6 million patient records for Symphony, Medway and eTrack, in addition to migrating 97,000 future outpatient appointments and 2.4 million historic appointments.

“Our CareXML technology also provides the trust with a full clinical archive for Clinicom PAS, order comms, community, maternity and eCAMIS PAS endoscopy reports, petters, Pathology reports, e-discharge letters, Infopath XML forms, scanned documents, radiology reports, medical records tracking, diabetic reviews, and A&E.”