Frontline Digitisation (FD) - the largest digital programme in the NHS - set up by NHS England, has the aim of levelling up digital capability across the NHS. In 2022, the programme committed all NHS Trusts in England to have procured - and 90% to have implemented - Electronic Patient Record systems (EPRs) by December 2023. FD has a challenging mandate to deliver this mission, by mobilising the remaining 21% of NHS provider organisations to purchase and implement EPRs at pace and scale. PUBLIC were commissioned to identify opportunities and develop recommendations for FD in order to provide national and regional support to bolster EPR implementation.
PUBLIC engaged senior leaders from NHS organisations who had received funding nationally for major EPR programmes in the last 3 years to understand what the barriers and blockers were to implementing EPRs. We documented and categorised our questions and feedback, developing the problem tree summarised below:
From a detailed and rich understanding of each problem and how they relate, PUBLIC structured 2 problem definition and ideation workshops with 16 CIO or EPR programme stakeholders. From here, we surfaced, refined and developed 17 recommendations for national and regional support.
PUBLIC’s research shaped Frontline Digitisation’s approach to supporting NHS providers navigate business case approval more successfully, sharing knowledge and building communities around the deploy, test and data migration stages. We have subsequently undertaken ground-breaking research into the operational and safety impacts of EPR implementations, further informing and supporting the largest digital programme in the NHS.
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