Epic Goes Live at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College Hospital
In a monumental digital transformation initiative, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust launched their new EPR system powered by EPIC. This launch represents a historic achievement, marking the largest-ever single go-live of Epic's EPR system worldwide.
The journey toward a more connected, data-driven, and patient-centric healthcare system
Epic's integration of diverse IT systems into a unified EPR system offers the trusts a comprehensive view of patient care, streamlining their workflows and enhancing the quality of healthcare delivery. The simultaneous introduction of a patient app at the trusts, MyChart, is designed to enhance patient convenience by offering seamless access to health records on various devices.
Carried out under the Apollo programme, the launch required meticulous planning, cutting-edge technology deployment, secure data migration, and comprehensive staff support – as well as countless sleepless nights. Professor Ian Abbs, CEO of GSTT stated that after “years in the planning” this launch will deliver “the technology that our patients and staff truly deserve.”
This sentiment was echoed by Professor Clive Kay, CEO of King's College Hospital FT: "Our staff deliver first-rate patient care every day, and with Epic, it won’t matter which hospital or community setting patients are treated in – staff will be able to access their information at the touch of a button."
The Benefits of a Unified EPR system
So, what do the Trusts stand to gain from this implementation?
- Enhanced Data Access: Cloud migration allows quick and simplified access to patient data, as data like insurance, lab results, and other important information is stored in a scalable digital system. This means that a patient’s medical history and treatment plan can be easily accessible even at the first contact.
- Streamlined Workflows: The removal of unnecessary steps automation of tedious manual tasks, such as data entry and appointment scheduling, frees up staff to focus on critical aspects of patient care.
- Improved Patient Care: Epic's EPR provides access to a patient's complete health history and real-time information, enabling informed decisions and provides care that is tailored to the individual needs of each patient. The Epic MyChart health app – deployed across GSTT and King's College FT – also empowers patients to take an active role in their own care with easy access to important health information and resources.
- Reduced Costs: Epic’s efficiency and accuracy through improved data management minimises errors and lowers healthcare expenses.
- Reduced Dependence on IT: A user-friendly interface reduces the need for IT support, with Epic's support and training resources providing users with the tools they need to utilize the system on their own effectively.
- Improved Security: Stringent security measures, including multi-factor authentication and regular updates, protect sensitive patient information – maintaining confidentiality and ensuring the privacy of medical record.
- Better Compliance: Built-in tools help organizations stay compliant with regulations, reducing the risk of fines and penalties.
EPIC’s Impact across the NHS
GSTT and King's College FTs’ monumental transformation project represents another successful roll out of EPIC across NHS trusts. Epic's impact in the UK extends to trusts including Cambridge University Hospitals, University College London Hospitals, Great Ormond Street, Royal Devon, and Manchester University, with additional NHS trusts in the process of implementing the system.
Turning away from London to the scenic landscapes of Devon, the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been reaping the benefits of Epic for three years. Since its implementation across their Eastern services in October 2020, Epic has provided a unified patient record across the trust, fostering cohesion and collaboration across healthcare services.
The Trust’s website highlights the impact their EPR system has made:
"Epic has enabled our two acute hospitals to work together seamlessly despite the fact they are 60 miles apart. With a single patient record and the support of video technology, a patient from Northern Devon can be seen by a specialist in Eastern Devon and vice versa, helping to reduce waiting times for patients and preventing travel times for both patients and clinicians"
Likewise, one of the UK’s largest trusts, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, has seen great success with their EPIC implementation, streamlining their workflows substantially. Speaking at an event in March earlier this year, the trust’s Chief Transformation Officer, Sarah McGovern, said workflows supported by the new EPR had avoided 36 critical medication administration errors in the first half of the year. Moreover, through reduced use of legacy systems since the go live and a reduction on inefficiencies inherent in their past system, McGovern reported financial savings of nearly £1 million, with a £500,000 saving on printing consumables alone.
A Brighter Future Ahead?
Epic's EPR system serves as the cornerstone for a patient-centric and efficient healthcare system, benefiting both providers and patients alike. As this revolutionary journey continues, it promises to usher in a new era of healthcare excellence.
What’s more, beyond the expected benefits at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College NHS Foundation Trusts, what is most impressive about the launch is the collaboration and workforce buy-in of such a large-scale digital transformation initiative. The NHS can often be accused of lacking a culture of change and failing to effectively collaborate between different NHS organisations, but this project paints a positive picture of a more efficient NHS with interoperability, collaboration, and employee-driven change at its centre.