Northern Ireland South Eastern Trust goes live with EPR

Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has gone live with their new electronic patient record, encompass, in what the Department of Health calls a “digital milestone” marking the “culmination of over seven years of work to improve how health and social care is delivered across Northern Ireland”.

Over the next 18-24 months, The Belfast HSC Trust will follow the South Eastern HSC Trust, with the EPR then implemented in Northern, Western and Southern HSC Trusts.

On Twitter/X, the trust shared that they launched the EPR “bang on time” at 4am, with an “electric” atmosphere.

Behind-the-scenes snapshots of go live were also shared on the social media platform:

Chief executive of South Eastern Trust, Roisin Coulter, states: “Our staff have been working tirelessly and training every day in order to implement encompass. At a later stage of the roll-out, everyone across Northern Ireland will be able to install an app on their mobile device called ‘MyCare’ where they will be able to access their own patient records. This will be revolutionary.

“It will of course be a time of change and adjustment for our staff as they get used to the system, so we are asking the public to be patient during the first few weeks of go live. There will inevitably be disruption to services in the initial period but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum. The long-term gains for service delivery are immense.”

The Department of Health describes how encompass has been “a concentrated effort” across the system, which has seen the Northern Ireland health and social care service partner with Epic to build encompass and ensure that they are “tailoring it to the needs of Northern Ireland”..

Shane McKnee, consultant in genetic and genomic medicine at Belfast, comments that launching encompass across Northern Ireland “is about patient safety, improving services, and giving you access to information about your care. It’s challenging and will take time to bed in. Please bear with it – it’ll be worth it!”

In the build-up to the launch, South Eastern Trust has been sharing information about encompass and the way it will support new ways of working. Watch below:

HTN wishes the best of luck to the teams across Northern Ireland!

We previously covered South Eastern Trust’s countdown to their go live event here.

In other recent EPR news, earlier this week we reported that The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has signed a 10-year contract for an EPR system designed to support integration with their partner trust; and last week we covered the news that Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board has awarded contract worth an estimated £1,183,936 for eye-care digitisation. In addition, we recently shared how University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has named their preferred supplier for a joint EPR system.