St George’s becomes largest UK hospital to receive HIMSS digital maturity award


St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust awarded with HIMSS Stage 6 EMRAM for progress on its journey towards a paperless NHS

St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London has become the second and largest trust in the UK to be validated at Stage 6 of the international acute Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

The trust, which has more than 1,000 beds and serves a population of two million people, is the first site to be accredited following an onsite visit by HIMSS inspectors.

During the inspection, the trust demonstrated examples of best practice by highlighting the speed and uptake of its Cerner Millennium product since it went live in 2012. The centralised Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system now has more than 5,500 users including nurses, consultants, doctors in training, and administrative staff.

The EPR system delivers electronic ordering and resulting for pathology and radiology, medical documentation, and nursing assessments. In addition, clinical decision support ensures that clinical staff are guided in their decision making in order to deliver the safest and highest-quality patient care.

Martin Gray, chief clinical information officer at the trust, said: “As CCIO, I am extremely proud of our achievements and at being recognised as being in an elite group of digitally-mature healthcare systems in the UK.

“For the staff of the hospital it is extremely rewarding to be recognised for all their efforts and the challenges they have had to go through in the transition from being a paper-based organisation to one that is working towards being electronic and automated.

“Staff are releasing time to spend with patients with automated workflows and biomedical device integration and patients are safer and spending less time waiting for transitions in care.”

St George’s is also the first trust in the country to demonstrate a closed-loop medication administration capability, including electronic prescribing with technology-assisted identification of both patient and medication. In tandem with an electronic documentation management system to digitise all the remaining paper, the trust is now paper-light and on its way to becoming a wholly paperless organisation by 2018.

John Jo Campbell, chief information officer, said: “This accreditation reflects an extended period of hard work by all the teams in St George’s and while we still have a long way to go we should all feel proud of what we have achieved to date.”

EMRAM has been developed to measure the progress and the cumulative capabilities of EMR systems within hospitals. Hospitals that reach Stage 6 (on a scale of 0-7) have established clear goals for improving safety, minimising errors, and recognising the importance of healthcare IT.

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John Rayner, director of professional development at HIMSS UK, said: “St George’s joins an elite group of hospitals across Europe in receiving an EMRAM Stage 6 award. The scale of the organisation’s ambition over the next two years to meet its ongoing commitment to reduce paper within the trust and provide better, safer, more-efficient care for its patients is truly commendable and we wish them every success in their next steps.”