Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has signed a contract with Epic to provide the trust’s future electronic patient record solution, marking the start of a major digital transformation programme at the renowned specialist centre.

The first of its kind, BWC is the leading women’s and children’s trust, providing 63 ‘highly specialised’ and ‘specialised’ services, commissioned by NHS England, to women, children and young people, both regionally and nationally.

Digital Health News first revealed BWC’s choice of Epic as its EPR supplier in December.

The EPR solution will provide a new core clinical information system for BWC and will replace current IT systems, including existing patient administration systems and a number of legacy specialty systems. The legacy systems preceded the formation of the trust in 2017 following the merger of the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Matt Boazman, chief executive, said: “The procurement of Epic is the first step in radically changing how we manage and deliver patient care.

“For the last few years we have been working with legacy systems which no longer reflect the makeup of our trust. Of course, we would have liked to replace sooner but our priority was on ensuring we responded fully to the immediate healthcare needs of our patients and communities through the pandemic.

“We’re now in a position where we can focus on transforming how we manage our services to provide the best possible care for the future, and to do this we need an infrastructure that will ensure that the processes for managing clinical information are not only consistent across our services but are more user-friendly and, importantly, give us the tools to strive forward with innovation in patient care and research.

“Moving to a single EPR is a huge undertaking; however it will provide greater oversight for the trust and clinical teams around clinical data and better integration of our patient records, diagnostic results, patient correspondence and patient activity, all which will bring numerous benefits to both staff and patients.

Boazman added that BWC hoped to reduce its carbon footprint through the reduction of its reliance on paper and provide a platform to engage patients and families in the management of their care.

Leslie Selby, vice president of Epic said: “Throughout the United Kingdom and around the world, organisations use Epic to create a single, shared record of care for each patient they serve—improving patient safety, patient experience, productivity, data quality, and working lives for their clinicians and staff. In joining our highly collaborative community, BWC will transform how patients are cared for in Birmingham, the wider region and beyond.”

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