Strategic Implementation Partners: Ensuring EPR Programme Success

Using a strategic implementation partner for an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) programme can offer several benefits for your healthcare organisation. EPR implementation is a complex and critical endeavour, and having an experienced Implementation partner can help ensure its success.

Here are some of the key benefits of an implementation partner.  

Experience – Specialist teams bring skills, experience and lessons learnt from multiple successful health system implementations across the NHS. This expertise enables the implemention partner to provide you with the best possible support, avoiding pitfalls which less experienced teams may not identify.   

Collaboration – Seamless integration with your existing teams, both internal and vendor, will bridge potential skills gaps and ensure resource alignment.  

Knowledge Transfer – Teams work together ensuring that knowledge transfer takes place during the programme. Business as Usual (BAU) teams are upskilled and equipped for success when the programme transitions into a post live state.  

Scalability – Teams can be scaled up and down in line with the plan, ensuring that activities are completed at the right time, in the right way.  

What sets an implementation partner apart from the traditional contractor model?

Below we look at the major differences between buying in multiple contractors on a time and materials basis versus using a managed service contract with an experienced implementation partner. 

Deliverables Based Contracts – Managed service contracts prioritise the achievement of specific results rather than focusing solely on the individuals providing the services. This approach ensures that the primary goal is the successful outcome of the project, fostering a results-oriented mindset.    

Contractual Clarity – Establishing work packages, objectives and expectations in the contract reduces the need for constant oversight and clarification. Both parties have a shared understanding of what needs to be achieved, which streamlines the management process and promotes efficient programme execution.  

Risk Transfer/Sharing – In deliverables-based contracts, payments are linked to the successful delivery of programme milestones. This means that payments are contingent upon the achievement of specific results, shifting the risk away from the client. In contrast, traditional contractor models may invoice for extra hours or overtime without ensuring that the intended deliverables are met, making cost prediction and control more challenging in those cases. 

Milestone Dedication – By establishing clear deliverables and milestone dates upfront in the Statement of Work, teams are committed to adhering to these milestones. This approach differs from the traditional contractor model, where project delays can lead to a phenomenon known as Parkinson’s Law, where work expands to fill available time. Having dedicated milestones helps maintain programme focus and prevents unnecessary scope expansion. 

What’s essential for a successful strategic implementation partner and trust relationship? 

Regular and Proactive Evaluation – Consistent, periodic and proactive reviews and assessments are essential to ensure that the programme remains on track and can be adjusted if necessary. This practice helps maintain alignment with programme goals. 

Mutual Trust and Open Communication – Establishing mutual trust and open communication are critical. Both parties should have confidence in each other’s abilities and intentions, which in turn leads to a more collaborative and efficient working relationship. 

Mature and Embedded Risk Management and Change Control Processes – Having mature and well-integrated risk management and change control processes is vital. These processes allow for proactive risk planning and mitigation, as well as the assessment of contract changes with a clear understanding of their impacts, leading to formally agreed-upon adjustments when necessary. 

Flexibility and Adaptability: True partnerships are flexible and adaptable. They are willing to adjust strategies and plans as circumstances change and are responsive to unexpected challenges that may arise during the programme rollout.  

With over two decades of specialisation in healthcare IT implementations, Ideal Health has established itself as a trusted consultancy. Our extensive experience positions us as a valuable choice for your EPR programme implementation partner. We welcome the chance to collaborate with you, leveraging our expertise to ensure the success of your EPR programme.  

If you want to learn more about our Implementation Services or have any questions about this blog, please reach out to us on or give us a call on +44 (0)1483 453508.

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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • “Ideal made a big difference. By using Ideal as the foundation of our floorwalking support, and augmenting this with Trust staff, we were able to ensure a constant, capable presence with our end-users 24/7. This would not have been possible without Ideal and reduced the impact on the wider Trust saving us from having to pause additional activity.”

    Adam Wisdish ICS Senior Digital Programme Manager, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • “The E-Learning Development Manager from Ideal worked closely with my Training team to develop e-learning content for Maternity. The modules delivered were concise, thorough, and easy to absorb. The structure was clear, logical and effective, and included elements of interactivity and video. There has been a lot of praise by the SMEs and staff regarding the high quality of the work produced on a very complex specialty. I found working with Ideal to be a very positive experience. I would highly recommend for any related work”

    Michael Paul IT Training Manager, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS
  • “The trainers Ideal provided have been brilliant. They not only provided the highest quality training and feedback, but were always prepared to go the extra mile when needed. Thanks for helping develop a relationship that we can rely on and when we’re looking for capacity to roll out the rest of eRecord we’ll be on the phone. Look after the trainers we’ve had – they’re a great bunch”

    Simon Holloway eRecord Training Manager, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • “We recognised the enormous impact a good floorwalking team has on the success of project implementation. With Ideal Training’s previous track record and experience in Cerner implementations, we felt confident in the service offered and would certainly consider working with them in the future”

    Carole Shuff Programme Manager West Somerset Family
  • “Ideal were a valuable partner as we engaged operational teams to translate our high-level ambitions into a meaningful vision and digital objectives. Their impartiality and customer focus meant they were able to communicate clearly with colleagues, identify common problems, and sensitively move past stress and ‘pet peeves’ to get to the heart of the difficulties our teams were experiencing in accessing the right information day to day”

    Claire Waite Care Integration Manager for Capacity and Flow Programme, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS
  • “We were most impressed with the calibre of floor walking staff supplied by Ideal. They were highly professional in their approach and demonstrated a fully comprehensive understanding of the system”

    CRS Training Lead Barts and the London NHS Trust
  • “Ideal's Digital Maturity review has enabled us to refocus our Digital and Data Strategies post-Covid, appreciating which shared and individual activities could support our ambitions for digital healthcare in our area. We are now taking the recommendations forward via a series of workshops across ICS partners to reprioritise and plan our next phase of activities”

    Stuart Lea CDIO and Marc Talbot Programme Manager, Stoke and Staffordshire ICS
  • “Ideal has an excellent reputation as a top-class training provider working exclusively in the health sector. With their experience and demonstrable track record in delivering IT training solutions to NHS organisations, Ideal was the clear choice for BT and Connecting for Health”

    Jenny Craggs Training Lead, NHS Connecting for Health
  • “The trainers supplied by Ideal did a very thorough job in preparing staff at the Royal Free, including adapting the programme to meet the needs and availability of the consultants. The trainers further enhanced the service by gathering information from the shop floor and feeding back to the training team. We were delighted with the service we received from Ideal”

    Sarah Kennard CRS Training Manager, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
  • “Perot Systems has worked with Ideal on provision of floor walking services to support large scale Cerner implementations. The success of the implementations and the smooth execution of the go lives have rested significantly on the success of the services that Ideal Training provide. The staff themselves are extremely knowledgeable in both the product and the NHS operations they support with specialist SME’s provided as demanded”.

    Gary Birks Perot Systems Europe Ltd
  • “Ideal demonstrated great agility in supplying experienced support for the Trust’s EPR requirements and mapping exercises. They showed great flexibility in meeting the Trust’s needs, clearly articulating the approach and costs associated. This coupled with advice and experience enabled the ‘As Is’ and ‘To Be’ processes mapping to complete to time and quality”

    Peter Bradbury EPR Programme Manager, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • “For the implementation of our EPR+ programme, the Trust needed a partner who we were confident could help us successfully deliver the system. Ideal demonstrated an approach which married up to our requirements”

    Cara Williams CDIO and SRO for the EPR+ programme, Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust (COCH)

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