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Thursday 24th May 2018

CRS causes near 'melt down'

30th July 2008

The introduction of a national programme care records system almost caused a “near melt down” at a hospital trust in England, it has been revealed.

The CRS deployment at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust developed into an “untenable situation” for the organisation.

During the initial deployment, the trust had a turbulent go-live of the Cerner Millennium system which the CRS project team described as “eight weeks of extreme pressure and operational issues to the acute trust.”

Milton Keynes was an early implementer for the local service provider Fujitsu and finally went live in February 2007, several months behind the scheduled June 2006 date.

It also emerged that maternity was dropped from the system requirements after a Cerner webcast demonstration left staff not at all “confident with what they witnessed.”

Board reports show problems being continuously identified and in two years of planning, the go-live date changed seven times at a cost of almost £800,000.

After the go-live, doctors began to identify a series of problems including bed availability not displaying correctly, notes for clinics going missing, patient appointments not displaying on lists, reports not printing correctly, back office help being unavailable, printers not working and passwords being forgotten.

The first fortnight saw 1,166 calls to the helpdesk. A visit by NHS chief executive David Nicholson and the then-director general of NHS IT, Richard Granger saw NHS Connecting for Health send a representative to work with the trust in resolving issues.

The 11 key issues identified by the trust were resolved in June 2007.


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