Cerner implementation at UK hospital has 'gone remarkably well'

Here's something you don't see every day: an EMR success story in England's massive National Programme for IT.

Implementation of a Cerner Millennium system at the Kingston Hospital National Health Service Trust, on the outskirts of London, has "gone remarkably well," Kate Grimes, CEO of the trust, says in an extensive interview with E-Health Insider. Kingston Hospital NHS Trust has been live with Millennium since November, and was the first to follow a new, local implementation model with Cerner and British Telecom that was developed following widely publicized failures at two other NHS trusts.

"We have order communications, smart cards, role-based access, a patient administration system linked to the NHS Spine [a dedicated Internet link], appointments linked to Choose and Book, integration with PACS, scheduling, real-time bed state views and a new management information system. We've taken on a lot," Grimes says.

"We now have order communications running across the whole hospital, which has huge benefits for ordering and reporting test results," says Grimes, who now has led three NHS trusts through EMR implementations, two on Cerner systems. "The big positive about Cerner is that it is one integrated system, its not just glued together by interfaces."

Of course, the implementation hasn't been without some headaches, such as in the migration of data from legacy appointment systems. Grimes says the Cerner system can be "unforgiving" at times, but extensive staff training and a wide-ranging technical support effort have helped overcome problems. "Change on this scale is a really stressful thing for people. You need to support them and their self-esteem," Grimes says.

For more:
- take a look at this E-Health Insider interview with Grimes