COMMERCIAL: Three south west trusts have launched a joint tender for a new electronic health record system.

Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust, Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare Trust have been working together to develop the specification since last year.

Half of the project’s costs are expected to be covered by funding from the South Acute Programme, which was set up to support the region’s trusts receiving no systems as part of the National Programme for IT.

The trusts are seeking a system which can be accessed by all staff involved in a patient’s care, speed up the ordering of tests, highlight special needs such as allergies and reduce or eliminate the use of paper.

Northern Devon medical director Alison Diamond said: “A good EHR will be fundamental to the quality and safety of our services for many years to come, helping us to ensure that we provide the right treatment at the right time.

“Diagnosis will be quicker, patients should be able to get home earlier, and the days when missing notes cause delays should be gone forever.”

The three trusts aim to choose a preferred supplier in the new year, following extensive testing by staff groups including ward clerks and consultants, and introduce the system in 2015.