County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has signed a 10-year agreement to implement Cerner’s integrated electronic patient record (EPR) solution.
At a Trust board meeting in December 2020, the board agreed to award the contract to Cerner. It comes after years of clinicians and support staff being involved in the decision process, the Trust said.
The Trust’s chief executive, Sue Jacques, said: “This is such an important development for the Trust and will help us truly transform how we treat our patients.
“Our EPR will replace several existing systems and provide clinicians with a comprehensive source of patient information – including relevant clinical information – quickly and securely at the point that care is delivered. The EPR will modernise and improve the way we deliver care across the Trust and revolutionise how we work with our partners to deliver care.
“Currently, patient information is collected in a number of different ways using a number of different paper forms and computer systems; these systems don’t always talk to each other. The new system will give us a full patient record, available in multiple locations, which will improve how we care for our patients.
“Our recent experience of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important it is for clinicians to have instant and full access to a patient’s history and treatments so we can make the best decisions about their care. The new system will mean all patient information will be available electronically, on a screen, at any hospital and any location, at any time, all of the time. It will transform the way we admit, care for and discharge our patients, while also greatly improving the patient experience.”
Mr Andrew Jennings, surgeon and chief clinical information officer for the Trust, added: “It’s a big day for us and represents a fantastic step forward in the delivery of joined-up care in the organisation.
“The new Cerner EPR will replace multiple clinical systems, removing information silos and providing our clinicians with all the information needed to deliver effective care to our patients quickly and in one place. As an organisation we will use this same information to improve care and give healthcare staff the tools needed to be safer and more efficient.
“We have been on a long procurement journey to ensure that the solution we implement is the right one for our clinicians, support staff, patients and citizens. We will now embark on a clinical and service-led delivery journey to ensure we achieve the anticipated benefits from an integrated care record.”