The hospitals are using clinical software provider Epic’s eHospital system, which is popular the United States.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital is said to be the first in the UK to use the system, which allows hospital staff to view patient records on handheld devices.
However a report by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has claimed that since implementing the systems, the two hospitals have seen a 20% drop in A&E performance.
The CCG’s document claims that the computer system “became unstable” on 1st November and a “major incident” was declared, causing ambulances to be re-routed to other hospitals.
The report also claims that the new system saw difficulties in matching test results to patients, meaning many had to be rechecked.
Despite these issues, the CCG audited to hospitals to find out that patients in A&E had been appropriately assessed.
The Group also noted that the benefits of the paperless system are likely to be delivered over time rather than becoming immediately evident in the few weeks after live deployment.
Dr Afzal Chaudhry, Cambridge University Hospitals’ CIO, claims that 90% of the eHospital implementation has proceeded successfully.
More than 2.1 million patient records from the past five years have been uploaded to be accessed by 7000 computers and devices in the hospitals.
“Given the scope, we had anticipated that there would be problems, but those problems did occur early on,” claimed Dr Chaudry.
“We are very focused on making sure our patients are cared for safely and in a timely fashion. We have been working very closely with the CCG and with our primary scare colleagues to make sure the system returns to a stable position and that we continue to iron out the remaining problems over the forthcoming period,” the doctor added.