NHS Providers launches guide for electronic patient record systems

19 January 2023

NHS Providers has today published its sixth guide for trust leaders, Making the most of your electronic patient record system (EPR) as part of its Digital Boards programme.

The guide is designed to support boards in leading the digital transformation agenda and is delivered in partnership with Public Digital, commissioned by Health Education England as part of their Digital Academy and supported by NHS England.

It outlines key takeaways for trusts looking to enhance their existing EPR systems and focuses on the board's leadership role in driving through improvements. It includes case studies from those with mature EPRs already in place.

The eight chapters of this new guide covers topics including:

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive, NHS Providers said:

"Digital transformation is key to improving the lives of patients and staff, and EPRs play a key role in this as they provide better data to support decision-making and planning. While many will already have an EPR in place, trust leaders are looking at ways to build on this and unlock the full transformational benefits an optimised EPR can offer.

"This guide, along with our wider Digital Boards support offering, will help them do that by drawing on the learnings of digitally advanced peers and experts."

James Freed, chief digital and information officer, Health Education England said:

"It's crucial for NHS trusts to not only get EPR implementation right but, particularly considering the increasing need to align these systems across organisations within an integrated care system, to continue to optimise and adapt their EPR as requirements change. This guide, built upon the real-life experiences of clinical and operational digital leaders, is a brilliant resource for boards who wish to support the ongoing development of their EPR."

Chris Fleming, partner, Public Digital said:

"The existence of an EPR is not the same as the cultural and operating model changes that need to be undertaken to get the most out of it. Go-live of an EPR should be considered the start of a trust's digital transformation journey, not the end. This guide contains practical tips for trust leadership on optimising their EPR to ensure it supports better outcomes and experience for their patients and staff."

Sonia Patel, system chief information officer at NHS England, said:

"Fully optimised EPRs are a fundamental tool for a modern NHS and offer local organisations the opportunity to vastly improve the care they deliver and the experience of their staff.

"NHS England is focussed on supporting NHS trusts to implement and optimise EPRs and this guide will help ensure trust boards have the tools and skills to champion these key programmes and ensure each part of the NHS reaps the benefits of digital technology."