Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust selects open-source electronic patient records

IMS MAXIMS solution costs around 60% less than proprietary software

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has selected an open-source electronic patient record (EPR) called openMAXIMS from healthcare software provider IMS MAXIMS to improve the recording and sharing of patient data across its hospital and community sites.

The open-source approach is expected to save the trust several million pounds in licence fees and future development costs, while also providing more control on how the software is developed in line with the hospital’s needs.

Implementation started in December and, once rolled out, Blackpool will become the third NHS trust to deploy the IMS MAXIMS open-source EPR.

Blackpool wanted to gain the benefits of a modern, open-source EPR while simultaneously upgrading its existing patient administration system (PAS) legacy EPR in its theatre and emergency department. It also plans to roll out order communications and results reporting from the openMAXIMS solution set.

The new EPR will allow over 3,000 clinical staff to share a single digital patient record across its 830-bed hospital sites, supporting the trust’s drive towards being paperless by 2020 and introducing workflow efficiencies across all departments. The trust will also reap the benefits of the open source community to co-develop new applications faster and cheaper than if it had selected proprietary EPR software.

“We expect the open-source approach to cost at least 60% less compared to a traditional proprietary route,” said Steven Bloor, chief information officer at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“The trust is a big supporter of the move towards open source within the NHS and always considers open-source options first when procuring IT. We want to not only gain more efficient patient care by using the most-advanced EPR available, but, at the same time, achieve value for money through an open and collaborative roadmap for ongoing software development. Having worked with IMS MAXIMS for nearly 25 years we were confident its innovative system would be the best fit for the organisation.”

A detailed electronic patient record will be available at the point of care any time of day or night, so helping clinical staff work more efficiently, without having to wait for paper notes to move around the hospital or log-on to different systems to access patient information. This will not only free up more time for patient care, but will reduce the chance of any errors being introduced to patient records as data is captured once electronically and cannot be mislaid like paper records.

Blackpool was also attracted by the open and interoperable nature of openMAXIMS, allowing it to easily integrate with existing systems such as its clinical portal, without any expensive, additional API development.

“The openMAXIMS route offers a much-lower total cost of ownership due to paying no licence fees but also in terms of integration, development, support and maintenance, which can be sourced from a competitive market,” said Bloor.

“When I speak to people about open source in the NHS, I say why wouldn’t you consider it as an option? This flexibility on offer gives us the confidence the openMAXIMS software has a long-term roadmap for our organisation.”

The openMAXIMS software was procured via the NHS Shared Business Services framework and the five-year contract involves IMS MAXIMS providing implementation, support, configuration, data migration, and maintenance.

“The roll-out of the new EPR will empower Blackpool to control its future roadmap and deploy technology that firmly meets its ongoing requirements and represents a significant milestone in our long-standing relationship with the trust,” said Shane Tickell, chief executive of IMS MAXIMS.

“Being the third NHS trust to opt for an open-source EPR adds Blackpool to a growing community whose clinical and financial objectives are being met by moving away from the proprietary model. IMS MAXIMS is working in partnership with these trusts to help them create truly-innovative systems that will improve their performance for years to come.”

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