November 3, 2022

March 13, 2023

Implementing Electronic Patient Records in the NHS

Supporting the Frontline Digitisation team in the NHS to design a programme of support for hospitals purchasing and implementing electronic patient records (EPRs)

Commercial, Spend & Impact


The DHSC/NHS set a mandate for all health Trusts to implement Electronic Patient Record systems (EPRs) by December 2023. At the time of our project, this meant 21% of all Trusts in England that had no central EPR system. PUBLIC was commissioned to support NHSE’s Frontline Digitisation (FD) team and E/I Board to conduct research to inform development of new programme support solutions to aid the implementation of EPRs in Trusts.


Facing unique pressures in the NHS to adopt new technology, we prioritised setting a scope and engagement model that would represent a positive practical step toward EPR implementation among Trust-level stakeholders. We set research objectives to design EPR implementation support offers that could really help to minimise service, process or resourcing disruptions to Trusts, and explore the impacts to clinical care and provider performance to inform future policy and strategic decisions.

We built a nationally representative engagement strategy to assess interventions that could meet the needs of the range of providers across the health system, focusing on digital teams with prior experience implementing EPRs. We spoke with 20+ CIOs, CCIOs, CNIOs, Programme Managers, and Clinicians working at 12 Trusts, using semi-structured interviews and desk research to collect a thematic understanding of the determinants of successful EPR implementation.

Moving into solution design, PUBLIC used our network to bring together senior digital leaders into co-creation workshops to then define additive implementation support offers that could be provided at the NHSE system-level, informed clinically and operationally by current NHS realities, technical constraints and EPR provider landscape challenges.


We supported the Frontline Digitisation team to define a forward programme of three new EPR implementation support offers, informed by the rich evidence and awareness driven by our research.  Our findings also informed policy decisions to create the National Centre of Excellence and redefine the operating model for support during build and implementations of EPRs. These changes ensure that the NHS will diminish service disruptions stemming from EPR implementations. We have since been commissioned to undertake additional research exploring the impact of EPR deployments on clinical care and provider performance.


Photo by the author

Tom Stocker

Former Team Member

Photo by the author

Ned Burns

Former Team Member

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