Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has become the first paediatric hospital in Europe to be awarded EMRAM Stage 7 from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

EMRAM – the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model – grades a health facility’s adoption and maturity of its EMR capabilities. Being validated at stage 7 confirms Alder Hey’s commitment to improving patient safety and the overall quality of clinical care through digital technology.

Kate Warriner, chief digital and information officer at the trust, said: “I’m thrilled at all the brilliant work that our digital and clinical teams have done across the Trust to achieve this accreditation. It has been quite a journey since our HIMSS 6 assessment. Nobody could have predicted a global pandemic, and the UK was hit hard.

“At Alder Hey, our previous digital progress had prepared us to respond exceptionally to the pandemic. We rose to the challenge, delivering many services virtually and even taking on adult patients to support our colleagues in the region.

“We’re delighted to have received EMRAM Stage 7 accreditation, but we won’t stop there. Alder Hey will continue to use technology to further enhance the care we provide to children, young people and their families.”

During the pandemic Alder Hey was quick to turn to telemedicine to ensure it could continue to provide safe and effective care. Inpatient wards were equipped with mobile, high-spec cameras with live stream capabilities so that clinical staff could work from any location.

Another of the solutions to come off the back of the pandemic was the HoloLens 2, a mixed reality solution that boosts collaboration. It was developed within Alder Hey’s Innovation Centre, which is tasked with inventing and creating to advance global child health, alongside industry partners. Using emerging technologies, it has also been responsible for custom 3D printing and AI clinical intervention amongst other initiatives.

John Rayner, regional director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at HIMSS, added: “Alder Hey is a very impressive organisation where clinicians, technologists and patients work as one to drive forward technology enabled transformation. One of the reasons that this trust has coped so well with the pandemic is their ability to innovate, and innovate they did.

“The assessment team were left with no option after two exhaustive days of inspection but to find them entirely compliant with the EMRAM Stage 7 standards. They have been on an amazing journey since the Stage 6 validation in 2019. Stage 7 now provides them with a very solid foundation from which to build, whilst affording them every benefit that their investment in technology now brings.”

The accreditation means that Alder Hey is also the first specialist UK trust in the UK to obtain level 7. It joins Sunderland Royal Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital in receiving the benchmark for digital maturity.