East Kent Hospitals goes live with Allscripts PAS

Three-day launch puts trust on platform to deploy Sunrise electronic patient record

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has successfully changed its patient administration system; putting it on a platform from which to deploy a full electronic patient record.

The trust switched off its legacy IT system and switched on its Allscripts PAS in a three-day operation at the start of October.

The huge project, which included the migration of 42 million records from one system to the other, was described as ‘exceptionally calm’, thanks to months of planning and the close involvement of executive and operational teams.

Deploying a new PAS is a major undertaking, but our old system was outdated and we had to change it to move onto the next stage of our IT development

Andy Barker, IT director at East Kent Hospitals, said: “An enormous amount of work by Allscripts and trust staff ensured the change-over ran as smoothly as we could hope for.

“This was important to ensure continuity of care and patient safety. It went well, with no significant impact on trust operations.”

He added: “Deploying a new PAS is a major undertaking, but our old system was outdated and we had to change it to move onto the next stage of our IT development.

“The Allscripts PAS gives us the platform to move forward with an electronic patient record.”

The trust is now planning to deploy Allscripts’ Sunrise, a fully-integrated platform that connects all clinical and financial aspects of the hospital for inpatient, and emergency care.

East Kent Hospitals ran a joint procurement for a new PAS with neighbouring Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in 2015, as part of the South Acute Programme.

This was set up to give providers in the south of England access to central funding for technology, following the end of the NHS National Programme for IT.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells went live with the PAS a year ago and announced earlier this year that it would also deploy the Sunrise EPR.

Barker explained that three years of work had gone into preparing for the PAS go-live.

A steering group was set up, chaired by deputy chief executive, Liz Shutler, and divisional managers were actively involved in developing new working processes and in testing the system.

Following trial loads and a full dress rehearsal to make sure that records would migrate from one system to the other, the trust achieved 99.99% data migration over the go-live weekend. Super-users and floor walkers were deployed to support clinicians and other frontline staff.

Our chief operational officer took a pivotal lead role operationally prior to, during, and after we cut over to the new PAS; this was key to our smooth and successful transition

Susan Acott, chief executive at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For a chief executive, replacing a PAS is a significant event within a trust.

“We mitigated risks, planned for reduced clinical activity, and had super users walking the operational floors for the go-live.

“Our chief operational officer took a pivotal lead role operationally prior to, during, and after we cut over to the new PAS; this was key to our smooth and successful transition.

“We are experiencing teething issues, as one would expect, but we are working collaboratively with Allscripts to settle the PAS into business as usual.

“Overall, we had a successful PAS implementation, which sets a solid foundation for our EPR and full digital transformation.”