NPfIT Lorenzo pioneers at NHS Bury - grappling with issues

NHS Bury and its NPfIT local service provider CSC deserve some credit for going live with the Lorenzo release 1.9 electronic patient records system after months of preparation.

It was the first installation in England of Lorenzo R1.9, the most advanced version so far of the iSoft NPfIT e-records system.

Relative to go-lives at some Cerner Millennium sites, including Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Barts and The London NHS Trust, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, Milton Keynes NHS Foundation NHS Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust, the go-live at NHS Bury was successful.

But there are still hundreds of problems – called “issues”. 



It’s hoped they will turn out to be teething. But that was the hope at some of the Cerner sites where problems lasted more than a year, some of them serious, causing appointments to be lost in the system, with the result that patients went untreated or unseen for months beyond what was reasonable.

In the press releases on the go-live at NHS Bury, no mention is made of any issues.

NHS Connecting for Health’s press announcement:

“Lorenzo Care Management (Release 1.9) is now operational at the first organisation in England, NHS Bury. Almost 600 clinical and administrative staff are using the system to manage their administrative tasks including booking appointments, recording contacts and managing case notes since the system went live on 3 November. Lorenzo will be used across 31 community services such as podiatry, speech and language therapists and district nursing. The migration from the Trust’s previous patient administration system, iPM, took place over the weekend following extensive testing by NHS Bury, NHS North West SHA, NHS Connecting for Health and local service provider CSC.”

And an iSoft’s spokesman said the go-live was a “success”.

“The Bury Trust go-live is a particularly important achievement both for iSoft as well as the National Programme …we will be closely monitoring the deployment at Bury over the coming weeks to ensure the system works well as staff continue to use this on a daily basis …Looking beyond the success at Bury, iSoft continues to actively support both CSC and NHS Connecting for Health in achieving the goals of the NPfIT and core IT strategy by continuing to deliver Lorenzo to the contracted regions in England.”

When I put it to NHS Bury that there were hundreds of issues, it said these were manageable and it was working with CSC to resolve them.

 “On Tuesday 3rd November, Lorenzo Regional Care went live across 31 community services in Bury. Both clinical and administrative staff are now using the system to manage their administrative tasks including booking appointments, recording contacts and managing casenotes.  

“Although it is still early days, the go live was successful and we are continuing to work with NHS Connecting for Health, NHS Northwest and local service provider CSC to support our staff in using Lorenzo Regional Care.

“Ann Halpin, Associate Director , IM&T for NHS Bury, said: ‘There are a number of manageable issues commensurate with any new system deployment.  We are working with NHS North West, NHS Connecting for Health and local service provider CSC to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.'”

Links:

iSoft’s announcement on NHS Bury

NHS Connecting for Health’s press release on NHS Bury – CfH website

NHS Bury Primary Care Trust Goes Live with iSOFT Lorenzo RC 1.9 – E-Health news.eu

Interview with iSoft’s Gary Cohen on Lorenzo 1.9 and NHS Bury

Doctors “almost in tears” over NPfIT system – IT projects blog

NHS Bury goes live – eGovmonitor

CSC Achieves First Lorenzo Release 1.9 Deployment. Successfully Deployed at NHS Bury. IT-Director.com

CSC shows Accenture how to do it – the rule of thirds

Bury outlines scope of LorenzoR1.9 – E-Health Insider

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The words ‘defect’, ‘problem’ and ‘issue’ are (wrongly) used interchangeably. There are always defects and issues when you go live with a new IT project. In fact, they will continue to be raised throughout the life of the application.

Saying that there are hundreds of issues is misleading as there could be 1 issue that has been logged 50 times by 4 users. Considering the complexity of this implementation, I would expect there to be a range in complexity of as-yet unresolved problems...the key is how robust the post go-live process is for addressing them. In my experience, there will be a prioritised list of defects/issues that will be worked-on by a team dedicated to the task.

To be honest, however much testing you do will never pick up all wrinkles and the only way to find out is to go live!

A press release would never mention that there were outstanding defects/issues; go and check any other projects.

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