Colchester NHS trust to roll out delayed IT system in August

Colchester Hospital will launch its delayed IT system in August following delays due to data migration and hospital regulator inspections.

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Colchester Hospital will launch its IT system in August following delays due to data migration and hospital regulator inspections, a board paper has revealed.

The new clinical portal will combine Colchester Hospital's clinical patient data into an easily accessible single source, which will be delivered through the 1.2 McKesson System C Medway clinical portal.

The programme was originally scheduled to launch in November last year, but was delayed because of data migration issues.  

A trust board paper stated that: “The project delivering Clinical Portal has faced a number of challenges which created delay and forced the movement of the go live date from 13 November.

“Before a revised date could be agreed the trust had to deal with a number of other challenges around CQC [Care Quality Commission], Keogh and Cancer Services which forced a change of focus resulting in no revised go-live date being set.”

The Medway portal will deliver the core patient administration system (PAS), the theatres, A&E and emergency department, maternity and electronic order management. It will also supply a read-only GP portal which allows GPs and “other third parties” to access data.

To minimise impact on the organisation and “eliminate concerns” about the existing Medway system’s functionality a mix of systems has been agreed. The systems include Sunquest ICE (integrated clinical environment) for electronic discharge summaries, BigHand digital dictation software for integrated clinical letters and business intelligence and reporting.

The trust said it has “continued to work with McKesson to resolve commercial and planning issues and has now set out a plan to establish a revised go-live date with the commitment of the operational teams”. The new go-live date is 3 August.  

The roll-out follows delays from the original November 2013 date following "data migration issues", the same month Colchester Hospital trust was placed into ‘special measures’ by CQC.

An incident management team was drafted in to Colchester University Hospital following reports that cancer patient’s appointment and treatment data was altered in the system. Essex police have since investigated the trust following the allegations.

A CQC report revealed that the trust had bought the Somerset Cancer Information System in 2010 to streamline patient data. However the department reportedly did not implement this system and used varying methods to track patient data, including hard copy records which meant staff were unable to access real-time data.