Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is to move away from paper-based records, after selecting a new electronic patient record (EPR) from Oracle Cerner.

The 10-year deal is worth £44 million, with HSJ reporting that funding is to come from the national frontline digitisation programme for around half of the deal; £12m coming from the trust’s own capital budget; and a further £10m coming from the North East London Integrated Care System.

Country-wide the NHS is providing £1.9 billion to trusts to help them meet a core level of digitisation and have an EPR in place. The move to an EPR will ensure that clinicians have all of the information they need to support decision making, leading to quicker, more accurate decisions being made.

The trust is one of the last London-based trusts to move away from paper records – it is currently generating around 25 million pieces of paper every year.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge have a collaborative partnership with Barts Health Trust, and will be installing Oracle Cerner’s Millennium, the same system as its collaborative partner. This means that patients at any one of the seven hospitals between the two organisations will receive optimum care as their records will be accessible to all clinical teams.

Significant achievement

Jacqui Smith, chair in common at Barking, Havering and Redbridge (BHRUT) and Barts Health, said: “This is our integrated group’s biggest and most consequential achievement. Through collaboration, BHRUT has received invaluable support from Barts Health as it introduces this long overdue digital system. Our joint working will make life better for residents and staff.”

The new EPR is ambitiously slated to be fully operational within two years. Its introduction will help to improve patient safety and reduce potential errors. With one record per patient, there will be a reduction in form filling, the need for repeating information or tests, and time wasted by clinicians in determining information. Instead, accurate information on each patient will be available across the integrated group’s seven hospitals.

Access to real-time information also means that Barking, Havering and Redbridge can better manage its service. At any given time staff can see where in the hospital a patient is, what beds are free and when a patient is ready to go home.

North East ICS most converged

As NHS England last year called for ICSs to lay out plans for a single or converged EPR across their providers, the announcement of the new EPR also makes North East London ICS one of the country’s most converged systems among acute trusts. Its third acute – Homerton Healthcare Foundation Trust – also uses Oracle Cerner’s Millennium.

Matthew Trainer, chief executive at Barking, Havering and Redbridge, said: “This is a game changer that will move our trust out of the digital dark ages. It is an exciting and positive development. Patients and staff will reap the rewards for decades to come.”

According to HSJ, the trust also intends to overhaul its WiFi systems across its acute sites to ensure the infrastructure can support the planned EPR.

Earlier this year Barking, Havering and Redbridge made another step forward for its integration priorities, with a renewal of its partnership with healthcare informatics provider, Epro.