FINANCE: The FT is “falling behind” other hospitals on informatics and looks set to invest more in this area as a result, according to latest board papers.

At its meeting in February, the FT’s board was given a report by director of transformation Paula Head on its investment in IT and progress on its informatics strategy, in particular the introduction of electronic patient records.

The papers note that she “sought the board’s support to change the capital investment profile for informatics over the next two years”.

The papers state: “The director of transformation reported that the trust had made good progress in implementing year one of the informatics strategy and with putting in place the infrastructure, governance, and discipline required to implement a large scale informatics programme.”

But they add: “She asked the board for support to bring forward the investment in Electronic Patient Record (EPR) as a comparison with other local trusts suggested that Frimley Park Hospital was falling behind in providing informatics commensurate with a modern hospital including EPR.

“The board was advised that the introduction of EPR would help to reduce length of stay, resulting in cash releasing efficiencies, as well as other patient safety and quality benefits.” 

The papers also note that the board asked for assurance that the figures provided on “savings assumptions” resulting from the extra investment were accurate.

They state: “Following the discussion the board supported in principle the increased investment, subject to validation of the savings assumptions.”

Additionally, the board was informed that an associate director of informatics had taken up his post on 1 February.