Secondary Care

Royal Free London starts second phase of EPR roll-out

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has launched the second phase of its electronic patient record journey.

The Trust went live with the Cerner Millennium system at Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital, Edgware Community Hospital, Finchley Memorial Hospital and in the maternity department at Royal Free Hospital in November 2018.

The second phase of the project will see the introduction of the system across Royal Free Hospital, including the emergency departments and critical care units across the trust.

Programme director, Alastair Crisp said: “It’s now two years since we first introduced EPR at Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital, and in that time we’ve seen just how much of a difference it makes to staff.

“Over the coming months we will work with clinical staff to ensure that it provides the same benefits to those at the Royal Free Hospital. The result will be that staff can access whatever information they need, in real time.”

In 2018 the system took 11 months to implement and go-live, with the Trust starting with a module in Cerner for Anaesthesia. The Trust said it has been preparing for the go-live of the system across Royal Free Hospital for the past year.

On Monday this week at HETT Reset virtual, the Trust also shared its journey of adopting robotic process automation tools. James Davis, Director of Innovation shared the organisation’s automation journey so far and talked about measuring success with automation programmes.

James opened with an introduction to intelligent automation and an important lesson when starting out: “It’s a piece of software to interact with any system at the front end, and tackle interoperability, to help share information. Royal Free has been using intelligent automation for a number of years, but a key lesson learned is that you have to take people on the journey with you, you might have some big idea in your mind, but that is just in your mind.”

When asked about how the Trust has measured the success of intelligent automation, James said: “When we speak with organisations nationally the first question we get is how much money have you saved. If anyone starts this journey for a bottom-line savings you will struggle. If you change the narrative it is to measure how much time has been saved, our resources are limited, so we want our clinical and non-clinical staff to spend time on patient tasks, and more rewarding tasks.”

One example highlighted was to automate the recruitment process specifically to manage offer letters that are sent out. James said: “through intelligent automation we can send 300 offer letters in a night that would take a human 12 days to complete. That’s how we measure it to release time to spend on more value adding tasks.”