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Guy's & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust to drive £175m IT systems revamp

Hospital trust Guy's & St Thomas is looking to procure a single electronic health record system, with the option to include two other trusts.

Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust is looking to procure an enterprise-wide single electronic health record (EHR) platform, which could potentially include two other major hospital trusts.

Worth up to £175m, the 10-year deal could cover up to 35,000 users if King’s College and Royal Brompton & Harefield hospital trusts are added to the scope of the contract in addition to the user base at Guy’s & St Thomas.

The system will aim to replace a number of disparate applications that are used to track patient care. It will also include direct GP access to information.

According to the contract notice, the existing portfolio is core to daily clinical and operational processes, but the various individual capabilities result in patient data not being integrated and managed centrally.

As a result, the trusts need to handle a time and resource-intensive process to view and collate data from various sources and, in some cases, frontline clinical staff have to add information captured elsewhere.

However, as the contracts for existing systems expire, the trust noted that it may incorporate their functionality into the core electronic health and care record platform, rather than replace them directly with new standalone systems.

A report published by think tank Parliament Street in 2018 noted that NHS trusts lose nearly 10,000 patient records a year, and called for a ban on handwritten notes in hospitals to prevent loss of personal documents and to introduce a patient identity protocol.

The study found that 94% of NHS trusts still use handwritten notes for patient record-keeping, despite often having electronic record system software in place.

Joining up IT systems must be a priority to unlock the potential of emergent technologies, according to a manifesto published by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).

The RCGP manifesto points out that the UK currently lags behind other European countries, such as Finland and Estonia, where a shared electronic patient record is in place.

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