UK's Countess of Chester Hospital signs 15-year EHR deal with Cerner

After 20 years operating with a Meditech EHR, the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – the national health service in England – is turning to Cerner with a 15-year agreement to employ Cerner Millennium, when Meditech’s contract expires in November 2019.

The Trust noted the agreement with Cerner is part of its “commitment to providing safe, kind and effective care in the digital era.”

Cerner leads the worldwide EHR market, with Epic taking the second spot, Allscripts in third and GE Healthcare at fourth. For 2017, Cerner earned 17.3 percent market share, while Epic has 8.8 percent. 

The Cerner Millennium EPR system is currently used by 22 NHS trusts in England. The latest organization to deploy the system, West Middlesex Hospital, went live in May.

The nomenclature in England is slightly different than in the U.S. Instead of “Electronic Health Record” or “EHR,” in England, it’s called EPR. The “P” is for patient — an approach somewhat similar to vendors such as Epic, Cerner, athenahealth and eClinicalWorks taking a more comprehensive approach in loosely saying EHRs are becoming CHRs. 

“It is our duty to provide safe, kind and effective care for the people of West Cheshire and shifting our processes from analog to digital is a huge part of that, NHS chief executive of Countess of Chester Hospital Tony Chambers said in a statement. “The NHS operates at the forefront of science clinically but so much of the technology being used to support that is outdated.”

The upgrade will help the facility to become a “Model Hospital.” To that end, the Countess of Chester Hospital is designated a “Fast Follower” of Wirral University Teaching Hospital, which has been using Cerner since 2010.

The trust plans to integrate the new EPR with its Co-ordination Centre, a technology program implemented in 2017, which is designed to improve logistical processes and use patient flow technology designed to help reduce the time people spend in the hospital, by improving bed management.

Some 4,000 sensors installed throughout the trust help provide a real-time picture of the hospital, providing the location of tagged equipment and picking up data from badges and electronic wristbands. Information is then sent to a coordination center, which acts like an air traffic control room.

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