NHS plans £150m framework to help solve trusts legacy issues with patient data

Health service identifies problems caused by organisations’ requirement to maintain multiple systems

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

The NHS is to create a framework intended to help trusts address problems with accessing and protecting patient data.

The deal, which is scheduled to launch in early April for an initial term of two years, will feature suppliers of “legacy information and management solutions”, according to a recently published procurement notice. The agreement is expected to worth up to £150m to the chosen providers.

The commercial vehicle is intended to enable buyers to access products and services that could help solve issues created when NHS organisations adopt a digitised platform for patient records – or switch from one such system to another. Following these upgrade projects, many health-service bodies find that key data sets related to patient care become separated – with some information stuck in ageing systems where it may be much harder to access, and no longer protected by manufacturer support.

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“When NHS organisations migrate from either a patient administration system to an electronic patient records (EPR) system – or move from one EPR to another – much of the clinical patient data held in the previous system and other legacy systems is archived,” the notice said. “Access to this data is through an archived version of the legacy systems and requires a separate login, making accessing this patient data a slow process. The organisation is then required to maintain archive contracts for one or more legacy systems, which may be unsupported, in order to allow continued access to the archived patient data.”

The procurement process, which being led by the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the wider health service, is seeking to identity tech companies that could offer NHS bodies a “cloud-based or on-site archive which interfaces directly with the live EPR, so clinicians can access archived clinical patient data seamlessly from within the live EPR”.

“Data [will be] extracted, analysed and migrated to the new system, ensuring the data is usable in the new system,” the notice added.

Suppliers interested in bidding for a place on the agreement have until 5pm on Monday 27 February to do so.

Sam Trendall

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