An NHS England leader has told Trusts to look towards open source for electronic patient record (EPR) systems.
Jefferson also added that the organisation is prioritising the EPR space and encouraging a move to open source because of the greater value for money it offers for Trusts.
One reason for this, he claimed, is the higher software licence costs that come with closed source applications.
“If you don’t mind the fact that you’re paying £50 a year for some commodity software, it’s fine. But why put off using it in a clinical setting where you can save hundreds of thousands a year,” Jefferson asked.
Besides this, the business head believes that the chance of greater clinical engagement and flexibility to make software changes offers important benefits and should be considered as valuable potential savings.
Jefferson however, pointed out that it isn’t all about potential cost savings, as a focus on open source will help providers access the market and speak to Trusts.
He said it will also help develop clinical engagement groups and communities of interests able to share innovations and examples of best practice.
The Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust currently uses an open source EPR known as EPR Open Eyes: according to Jefferson, 10 to 15 Trusts have expressed an interest in using this and another four are interesting in another provider.
He also claimed that his call for open source EPRs is not an attempt to “unsettle” the software market.