One of the biggest NHS trusts in London has signed a deal with Epic for a new electronic health record.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust last month confirmed to Digital Health News that the US supplier was its “preferred bidder” for the £175m contract.

The Trust will work with Epic to implement a new single integrated electronic health record (EHR) system across the organisation. It is due to go live in April 2023.

Currently the Trust uses a number of different IT systems to record the care given to a patient, often requiring a large amount of time and administrative effort for a clinician to view a patient’s complete medical record.

The EHR will replace many of the existing systems to provide a single source of information about each patient, freeing up time for clinicians to spend directly on a patient’s care.

Professor Ian Abbs, chief executive of the trust, said: “Importantly, introducing a new EHR system is not just about new technology. It is more about changing the way we work every day, using new tools and high-quality data to improve the way we provide care to our patients.

“We will newly empower our patients by providing them with access to better information and empower our staff by providing them with a modern, digital, working experience.”

The trust will also work with Epic to deploy a patient portal to provide patients with access to their medical records, enabling them to book appointments and more actively engage in their health and with their clinicians.

The deployment of Epic at Guy’s and St Thomas’s is eventually planned to be extended into Royal Brompton and Harefield and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.

Beverley Bryant, chief digital information officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, said: “The potential to implement Epic across our three organisations provides us with a once in a generation opportunity to re-imagine our clinical workflows and provide a vastly improved experience for our staff and patients.

“This programme will signify a major transformational change and underpin our ambitions for high quality care for the patients that we serve. Our teams have been working towards this point for some time, so to now embark on the deployment journey is extremely exciting. I look forward to providing our staff and patients with the digital platform that they deserve.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust issued a tender in May 2019 which included a requirement for GPs to have direct access to the EHR, as well as having the option of linking up to King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and possibly Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust follows in the footsteps of a number of NHS trusts which have selected Epic in recent months. In August 2020, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust awarded an £108m EPR contract to Epic while in June 2020 Northern Ireland signed a £275m deal with the US company to supply electronic patient records across the country.

Before that, in May 2020, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) confirmed it had selected Epic to implement an EPR as well.

Epic’s flurry of contract wins across the NHS was the topic of a Digital Health Unplugged podcast with the news team looking into why so many trusts are looking to the supplier. The team also looked at why so many trusts are choosing Epic when it is not on NHSX’s EPR framework.