University Hospitals Plymouth takes a major step towards digitalisation

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is to become the first NHS Trust to implement an open standards approach to electronic health records, which will mean taking a major step towards becoming a wholly digital organisation.

At an event co-organsied by Dr Arunangsu Chatterjee, Associate Professor and Director of Technology Enhanced Learning and Distance Learning, the Trust showcased how it will utilise a worldwide open standard repository for patient clinical data, as an alternative to traditionally licensed software that currently does not allow for integration between platforms.

OpenEHR, which stands for Open Electronic Health Record, is a virtual community that provides universal interoperability between all forms of electronic data, therefore allowing all physical health-related information to become electronic.

“It’s my aim for University Hospitals Plymouth to become completely digital in the next five years,” explains Andy Blofield, Director of Information Management and Technology, and Chief Information Officer.
“University Hospitals Plymouth has always been an innovator; pushing boundaries and exploring new approaches for the NHS. Now, we see making use of the OpenEHR platform as a significant step towards our dream of a paperless Integrated Digital Care Record. There are 190 different clinical systems in this hospital alone. Having this open standards approach will mean that there is a lot more functionality, all from the same data repository.”
The event at the Future Inn saw significant input from the University of Plymouth, who are also committed to embedding open standards and technologies in order to enable seamless interoperability and integration. 

Dr Arunangsu Chatterjee said: 

“It is important to explore and embed health care open standards orientated solutions (like openEHR) in order to foster a sustainable digital health ecosystem.”

Collaborating with both local and national partners to support this electronic platform, University Hospitals Plymouth hopes to encourage innovation, particularly with local small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Today we wanted to showcase the incredible progress made in the South West, as well as exploring what other opportunities there might be for local SMEs in the OpenEHR environment,” adds Andy.
Later this year, the Trust plans to launch an electronic prescribing solution based on the open standards platform, which will be another first for the UK.

Technology Enhanced Learning Team

University of Plymouth campus, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA