An audit report released last week by auditor general Lynn Pamment has raised issues surrounding the implementation of Jersey’s electronic patient record (EPR).

The report found that the “levels of engagement from senior clinicians and managers fell below what was expected and hoped for”, despite “significant attempts made by the EPR programme team”.

Pamment said: “In order to drive value for money from significant investments such as the EPR system there needs to be a much greater focus on effective stakeholder engagement and user engagement as well as a more effective discipline around the identification, monitoring and delivery of benefits.”

The Jersey EPR is expected to cost £29.3m and be fully implemented by 2025. It aims to allow medical records to be used more efficiently in the area, without depending on paper files.

Jersey General Hospital has successfully implemented the MAXIMS EPR system across all departments, marking a significant milestone in the Government of Jersey’s digital health transformation programme.

Over the last three years there have been a number of significant IT implementations that have run in parallel. These implementations include the EPR programme as well as the Integrated Technology Solution programme (ITS). The parallel running of major IT implementation programmes has placed particular pressure on government and there has been a need to bring in additional external resources to support the ongoing implementations, the auditor found.

The report also states that the Procurement Strategy for the EPR implementation did not provide a full examination of how the procurement could be packaged to minimise risk to the government.

Deputy Tom Binet, Minister for Health and Social Services said the department was “making every effort to improve the service our clinical users are receiving with the new system”.

He stressed that the department had conducted over 400 engagement sessions and provided 4,000 hours of training and reassured that the government would continue to lend robust support to its staff and work towards improving the service.

Binet admitted that there were still “some significant challenges” with the system and “some staff would have liked to be more involved in the procurement process”, but he added that the EPR would “ultimately improve patient safety, improve the experience of patients through the health system and in the long term, it will save both time and money”.