Thursday 02 April 2020
Plans to replace HSC's Electronic Patient Record will continue if the States approves a request for funding.
The Policy & Resources Committee and the Committee for Health & Social Care have today published a joint Policy Letter for consideration by the States in May 2020, requesting funding to a maximum of £20 million for a replacement digital system to better track, integrate and organise the islands' healthcare data.
The plans will see the current system - which has reached the end of its life - replaced with a new, and improved, system in phases over the next three years. This will ultimately make it easier for health and social care practitioners to work together and share data and information and allow for greater monitoring of the overall performance of the islands' health service. In light of the current pressures on the health and care system, a six month extension to the support contract for the current system to March 2021 has been negotiated with the provider. This will ensure continuity of critical infrastructure at this time, enabling clinicians to focus on core service delivery while equally allowing the States to initiate the commencement programme.
Deputy Le Tocq, Senior Member of Policy & Resources Committee said:-
"Replacing the islands' Electronic Patient Record system is an essential and unavoidable capital investment. This would be the case at the best of times but, as we face the challenges of Covid-19, the need to safeguard the systems upon which our health and care services depend has perhaps never been more apparent.
Each term, we set aside a funding allowance for urgent and emergency projects, such as this, so that we might protect critical government infrastructure and services. The Policy & Resources Committee is recommending that a portion of this allowance be used to fund the crucial replacement of the EPR system before the end of its contractual support.
This is an example of the continued digital investment which will be required across the States to ensure we meet customer expectations and address operational risks, an ambition which is supported by the ongoing SMART Guernsey programme. Whilst the timing of the proposed EPR investment is born out of necessity, we fully expect it to deliver system enhancements and improve the service provided to clinicians and customers."
Deputy Tooley, Vice-President of the Committee for Health & Social Care said:-
"The benefits brought by a replacement Electronic Patient Record will help us realise the ambitions of the Partnership of Purpose by providing the best possible tools for our healthcare professionals. Beyond the initial replacement programme, the new system will lay the necessary foundations for ensuring all clinicians have immediate access to all relevant and appropriate patient data and will, in time, allow Islanders to have direct and immediate access to their own records."