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Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital begins transition to new £17million electronic patient records system

15:30 06 August 2014

West Suffolk Hospital A&E.

West Suffolk Hospital A&E.

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A £17million programme to bring West Suffolk Hospital’s patient records into the digital age is underway.

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The electronic patient record (EPR) project will see a state-of-the art, standardised IT system introduced across the hospital, giving staff instant access to real-time digital records.

Known as e-Care, it will bring all available information about each patient into one place, making it easy to access while removing the need for paper records.

The new system will also make it simpler for staff to double check information, which means they will no longer need to ask patients the same questions several times, as well as making records easier to share across the NHS.

Dermot O’Riordan, consultant surgeon and interim chief executive, is leading the project for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “Investing in this important new system is the most significant decision the hospital has made in recent years.

“e-Care is about putting our patients – their outcomes and safety – first, and will ensure our clinical staff have the necessary technical support to continue providing the highest standards of care.

“This is a very exciting time for the trust. We are all keen to get started and begin delivering the benefits of e-Care to our patients.”

A total of £17.2m will be invested in the project over the next 10 years, while the system is expected to deliver savings of £22.4m over the same period.

The project will be delivered by Cerner Corporation, which was awarded the contract following an extensive procurement process led by clinicians.

Giulio Bognolo, chief medical officer with Cerner Limited, said: “We’re delighted to be joining West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on this journey to better, safer and more efficient care for the patients of their community. 

“Already being recognised nationally as a leader for the use of information technology in healthcare, the hospital is the ideal partner for Cerner in that their existing experience with IT and vision for a clinical transformation project aligns perfectly for what we help enable around the world. 

“Our efforts in the UK are specifically focused on organisations that aim to improve clinical, operational and financial outcomes, and we know we have the perfect partner in the Trust to complete this vision.”

e-Care will replace the hospital’s current patient administration system (PAS), which is around 20 years old and will not receive technical support beyond 2015.

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