EPR Business Case, Procurement & Deployment


As part of their digital strategy, the Trust wanted to review their EPR system for its Mental Health Services.

To ensure a thorough analysis of the current and future requirements of an EPR, as well as an in-depth review of the current market for potential solutions, Leeds selected Apira to help guide them through the process

“Apira knew the mental health space and it was clear from the outset they understood our issues. Apira wanted to do the right thing for the department and that really impressed us. Their knowledge of the market and understanding of the procurement process provided us with the edge when it came to getting the system we needed.”

Dr Nick Venters, CCIO


Dr Nick Venters
CCIO Consultant

Bill Fawcett

Review & Specification

Leeds contracted Apira to carry out an initial six-week review.

This included engagement with clinical staff, admin staff, service managers and IG leads to identify the gaps and pain points in the current EPR system. This also highlighted additional functionality that staff were seeking. Apira recommended that the Trust go out to procure a new solution.

Following the initial review, Apira continued to work with Leeds to develop a detailed specification of requirements for an EPR. Simultaneously, Apira developed an Outline Business Case (OBC) to highlight the options available and give clarity on the investment required, dependent on how the Trust wished to proceed.

  • Existing EPR was over 10 years old and originally implemented as an interim solution
  • Greater integration with key clinical systems
  • Ongoing negative feedback from EPR users
  • Cost savings needed to be addressed
  • Support for remote working for staff and reduction in travel costs
  • More intuitive systems now available
  • Requirement to support the Mental Health Act
The Solution
Advanced’s CareDirector was selected as the new EPR solution. This was a system widely used in social care and deployed successfully across Mental Health Services in Wales. Apira was able to facilitate a valuable site visit to Wales for key members of the team in Leeds. The visit demonstrated an impressive solution with an intuitive and modern interface, single view dashboards and flexible search capabilities.

“Apira is a focussed and passionate team. I would not hesitate to recommend them to other Trusts. The NHS needs more specialist organisations like Apira.”

Bill Fawcett
Benefits Delivered
As a result of the in-depth specification and a thorough staff adoption programme from Apira, the new EPR system delivered clear benefits to the Trust:

  • Increased efficiencies: Quicker access to patient information for staff, from anywhere in the hospital.
  • Improved access: The new system is accessible from a range of devices (laptops/PCs, computers on wheels, iPads, mobile phones) and supports increased staff working remotely.
  • Improved patient experience: Patients do not have to repeat their medical history and are reassured their care is delivered in a more joined-up way
  • Increased patient safety: Integration with other systems provides a more accurate view of a patient and the care provided.
Supported Deployment
Apira led a phased procurement process with clear goals set for the Trust at each stage. The advice was to take a ‘big bang’ approach to deployment of the system in Leeds. This was in part because the new EPR could support increased levels of remote working for staff. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Apira were able to guide Leeds through a dummy go-live of the solution which enabled frontline staff to familiarise themselves with and thoroughly test out the new system.
Delivery Model & Achievements
As a result of the in-depth specification and a thorough staff adoption programme from Apira, the new EPR system delivered clear benefits to the Trust:

  • Test launch enabled users to trial the system before go-live
  • Due to the nature of mental health services, a ‘big bang’ approach to go live was required
  • 2,500 users of the system deployed at launch
  • Fifty floorwalkers initially planned to support go-live – due to Covid-19, instead, 25 staff supported the Trust 24/7 providing remote support to staff via mailbox, screen-sharing and a helpdesk
  • 120 digital change leads were selected across the Trust as ‘champions’ of the service, however., Many were redeployed in other areas due to Covid-19 so Apira facilitated regular engagement with the change leads and provided workshops for them to support staff and demonstrate how the system worked
  • The new system was able to cope with the increased demand of remote users working from home due to-Covid 19

The benefits are clear – Apira helped us to quickly deliver a reliable, scalable system, accessible remotely for clinical staff. The integration with key clinical systems was vital and enabled more clinical time with patients.

Dr Nick Venters

The Future
Apira continues to support Leeds as the EPR system develops and delivers more benefits. This includes a patient portal and improved dashboards, as well as bespoke dashboards for specific teams’ requirements and refinements to the patient timeline view.

Due to the success of the EPR project, the Trust has recently commissioned Apira to work on a new business case for a new Electronic Document Management system.

“The rigour and detail that Apira demonstrated ensured the contract between us and the supplier was watertight in terms of payment milestones and delivery. Their attention to detail throughout the process paid dividends for the Trust.”

Dr Nick Venters