The Royal Free Hospital went live with an electronic patient record powered by Cerner over the weekend.

The Royal Free, one of three hospitals run by The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, went live with the electronic patient record (EPR) on October 2.

It marks the second phase of the EPR roll out, which is already in use across Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.

Co-designed by clinical staff – including doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and allied health professionals – the programme aims to make sure it meets the needs of those using it and brings real benefits for their patients.

Benefits have already been seen across Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals, which the trust is hoping will continue across Royal Free.

In a video about the EPR deployment posted on YouTube last week staff working for the trust spoke of the benefits the EPR has brought, including saving time and improving patient safety.

Dr Jenny Cross, chief medical information officer at the trust, said: “The good news is that actually we’ve all got a lot of skill in using Cerner already, so some of the principles of using this electronic patient system are still very useful.

“Some clinicians have said that they feel sufficiently capable in it and they’re not sure they need to do their training… Many clinicians have reported back having done the training saying that they’ve identified lots of really new things that they won’t have seen even if they’re using the Barnet and Chase Farm EPR.”

On the ground, the EPR has been received well across all sites.

Bev Thomas, director of nursing at Barnet Hospital, said: “From feedback from the staff and from what I have witnessed, it certainly does save them time… and give them more time for direct patient care.”

The Royal Free’s EPR also integrates with other technology that’s currently in use.

Data from devices such as blood pressure monitors can be automatically uploaded into the system and trigger an alert to staff if something unusual is detected. Once in the system, the data is more secure than paper records – as only those issued with a smartcard have access.

Back in November 2019, Digital Health News visited Chase Farm Hospital to find out how the project was going. You can read all about it here.