Secondary Care

East Lancs countdowns to EPR go live this weekend

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is counting down to going live with its electronic patient record system, due to go live 16-19 June.

The programme at East Lancashire is known as ‘eLancs’, and is designed to improve patient care by replacing paper-based notes and records with digital tools.

Over recent months, the trust has been preparing to go live with its EPR by visiting its hospital sites to demonstrate the system and taking staff through a role-specific 10-week training programme. This has included recruiting 1,000 ambassadors and super users, from a range of job roles and departments.

During May, the trust conducted its full technical and operational dress rehearsal, to test and practice using the system ahead of going live. This included simulating live system use; how the command centre and support desk work; a clinical safety review; testing IT, hardware and infrastructure; and testing business continuity plans. The trust has shared more details on YouTube here.

Mark Hodgson, CEO, commented on the programme: “A huge amount of work has gone in to getting us to this point. I really want to thank all staff that have been involved to date. It’s important to remember that the implementation of the EPR is not just an IT project, but it marks a shift in not only how we work, but how we care for our patients.”

As part of their communications about the project, the trust published a webpage providing an overview of the project and answers to frequently asked questions. Here, the trust notes an ambition for the system to link up with other trusts in the future, stating: “We’re currently working with Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System and other regional providers in development of a solution that will feed into local trusts. It is important patients can move smoothly between services.”

On access to the system across care settings, the trust added: “The system is a hosted system running through East Lancashire Networks. Any community site that has access to East Lancashire’s network will, with the correct permissions and access be able to log into the system. EMIS will continue to be used in the community.”

The frequently asked questions section goes on to address queries such as ‘Will the IT infrastructure be able to cope?’, ‘Will there be a link to the pharmacy system?’, ‘What are the benefits for GPs?’ and ‘Will hospital safety be affected?’ The FAQs can be viewed here.

The trust also shared a series of videos for staff, including a video on the support that is available during the cut over period:

Good luck from the HTN team.