University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust says it has has broken ground in NHS IT by being the first acute trust in England to pilot the new Lorenzo electronic patient record system – version 1 – in a clinical environment.
The trust says that doctors at Furness General Hospital in Barrow have embraced the new technology which is part of the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT].
The go-live provides a ‘soft landing’ in which Lorenzo works in parallel with the Trust’s existing systems. It says in a statement released today: “There are health professionals who drive the system for the doctors to rigorously test it before they use it independently. The Trust will go for a ‘hard landing’ as soon as the parallel system has been fully tested – that means it will be fully operationally live in the clinical area where it is being tested (Ward 5).”
Morecambe Bay says the go-live means that radiology tests can be requested electronically,and the system records alerts, allergies, health problems and procedures.
Says the statement: “One of the key benefits of Lorenzo is the introduction of an electronic discharge summary. This means that important discharge information about a patient’s condition following a stay in hospital can be transferred electronically directly to their GP.”
Tony Halsall, Chief Executive of the trust, said: “We have worked very hard for ten months including a period of robust system testing. We are now confident that Lorenzo is ready to be properly trialled in a live clinical setting. As with any new IT software, the development process is on-going and continual assessment is very much part of the rollout. The benefits this system could bring to patients are immense in terms of information sharing between health professionals. UHMBT is delighted to be at the forefront of this ground breaking initiative.”
Alan Spours, Chief Information and Knowledge Officer for NHS North West, said: “On behalf of NHS North West, I’d like to congratulate the team at UHMBT on the successful deployment of Lorenzo Regional Care Release 1. This is an exciting step forward in the delivery of electronic patient records that will benefit patients at the Trust and, in time, patients and NHS staff across the North West.”
This novel approach to a go-live of Lorenzo sounds a safe way to test the software in a live environment without any problems causing disruption to the care and treatment of patients. The only information on the pilot is in the press notice, though. I’ll be asking some questions about it later today.