North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust has been awarded a HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 5 rating.

The HIMMS EMRAM rating system is an international quality standard which measures the adoption and maturity of a health facility’s inpatient EMR capabilities from 0 to 7, with Stage 7 being the highest possible rating.

According to HIMSS criteria, Stage 5 means that North Middlesex has established clear standards for improving safety, minimising errors and recognising the importance of healthcare IT. According to the trust, through achieving HIMSS Stage 5, it means North Middlesex is now in the top 20% of English NHS trusts for digital maturity, having been fourth from the bottom in 2018.

Three years ago the trust began its Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme, a national digital scheme aimed to support NHS trusts to improve their digital maturity and in turn help enable better health, better care, financial sustainability and better experiences for staff and patients.

North Middlesex has been working in partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as its ‘fast follower’ to share its experience of being a digitally advanced trust. Chase Farm Hospital, which is part of Royal Free London, was awarded HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7 back in March 2022.

Brendan Mahony, chief information officer at North Middlesex, said: “We are thrilled that North Mid has successfully achieved a Stage 5 rating. It is a testament to the hard work of our teams over the last three years to transform the way we deliver healthcare so that it is safer, more efficient and improves patients’ experience.

“Achieving this international HIMSS standard reflects how our clinical teams at North Mid have embraced technology, and are using state-of-the-art clinical systems, data and analytics, as part of everyday clinical practice to support the outstanding care given to local people.”

Since the trust’s work with Royal Free London, it has established a clinically led digital leadership team, introduced a single electronic patient record (EPR) so that all healthcare records are in one place, implemented electronic prescribing, electronic observations, electronic noting and single-sign-on for clinical applications.

All of this has set the foundations for the next phase of North Middlesex’s digital development, which includes empowering patients to manage their own appointments and access their hospital records online and making greater use of hospital and population health data to address health inequalities and improve care.

The achievement of a Stage 5 HIMSS EMRAM rating for North Mid comes after the trust announced back in June 2019 that it was investing £12million in a number of digital projects.

The money was awarded as part of NHS England’s GDE programme, with £5million coming from NHS England and £7million being provided by the trust.