This weekend East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust went live with its new electronic patient record (EPR), transforming how its staff will work and the care they deliver patients.

eLancs has been designed to improve patient care across the region, by replacing paper-based notes and records with a new range of digital tools and technologies.

The new EPR ensures that trust clinicians have all the information they need to make better, more effective decisions for their patients. The system gives automatic access to a suite of decision support tools, ensuring all decisions are made based on the best available information available.

In addition, eLancs will improve communication across clinicians and teams, minimise duplication and reduce some of the data collection burdens by allowing for automatic data capture.

East Lancashire originally signed a deal for the EPR with Cerner in April 2021. The system was due to go live at the end of last year, however, during the testing phase difficulties were identified relating to how the system interfaces with other existing systems being used by the trust. This delayed the planned go-live until now.

Ahead of this summer’s go live, staff at hospital services and community care in Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, the Ribble Valley and Rossendale underwent a 10-week, role-specific training programme.

The trust also recruited nearly 1,000 ambassadors and superusers from a range of job functions who are now providing support to colleagues as they begin to familiarise themselves with the system.

The trust has ambitious plans for the future of eLancs, noting on a webpage about the project: “We’re currently working with Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System and other regional providers in development of a solution that will feed into local trusts. It is important patients can move smoothly between services.”

Currently, the service is used across care settings, according to the webpage: “The system is a hosted system running through East Lancashire Networks. Any community site that has access to East Lancashire’s network will, with the correct permissions and access be able to log into the system. EMIS will continue to be used in the community.”