Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) is to design and develop a new electronic patient record (EPR) system to replace several digital and paper-based systems, with a launch expected in Spring 2025.

The EPR solution, which will be developed with Oracle Health, will eventually provide a single platform for RCHT, giving clinicians the most up-to-date patient information and enabling them to spend more time with their patient to provide smoother and safer care.

Chief information officer at RCHT, Kelvyn Hipperson, believes this is an exciting development for the trust.

“We already use quite a lot of technology but bringing many of our systems together to adopt a single platform will mean we can provide a more joined up way of working across our hospitals, improving safety, and the way we care,” he said.

“The EPR is just one aspect of our digital transformation plan which has patient care and safety at its core.

“We’re currently updating the technology on our wards, and we’ve been named as a UK pilot site for ‘the silent hospital,’ a project that uses smart technology to make the hospital environment calmer for patients,” he added.

NHS England is providing £1.9 billion to NHS trusts to ensure they all meet a core level of digitisation and have electronic patient record systems in place.

This investment in digitising the frontline will ensure that health and care staff have access to health-related information when and where it is needed, supporting them to deliver care efficiently, effectively, and safely, reducing variation and improving outcomes.

Design, development and testing of RCHT’s EPR system will be ongoing in collaboration with clinical teams over the next 18 months, with a launch expected in Spring 2025.

The trust’s chief medical officer, Dr Allister Grant, said: “There are massive safety benefits to get from EPRs. For clinicians, information will be more accurate, it will help coordinate patient flow and support effective scheduling in areas like operating theatres and outpatients, it will also hold information from other systems, reducing duplication.

“But it’s great news for patients too with an improved experience across our health and care system. We know that patients often have to repeat their healthcare story, but with an EPR it doesn’t matter which of our hospitals a patient attends, their record will follow their healthcare journey even if they move between our services and departments.”

Last month, RCHT announced that it is changing its outpatient experience with the help of a patient engagement portal Patient Hub.