BMI Healthcare has revealed it is rolling out Oracle's PeopleSoft platform as an administration solution across its 69 UK hospitals, which treat 276,000 patients a year.
The initial rollout, which covered 56 hospitals, cost BMI £2.5m, technology solutions director for BMI Healthcare Paul Cowley told Computing. The company chose not to discuss specific licensing details.
PeopleSoft will replace older, internal platforms, as well as complementing CSC's UltraGenda Pro product, which BMI uses for bookings.
"What we've done with this solution in health care is, like our other solutions, look at best in breed. PeopleSoft is also one of the most used systems in American hospitals already," he told Computing.
"We have a strategy of using best in breed systems, integrating them and developing them. That's working very well for us. It's that rather than buying a single, monolithic system and losing that level of integration."
PeopleSoft is a browser-based system, and was rolled out by a team of 30 in 18 months, after conversations that began several years ago.
"BMI and Oracle initiated their strategic partnership in 2008, and the decision to roll out PeopleSoft to all our hospitals for Financials and Patient Administration was taken in the first half of 2011," explained Cowley.
A top priority for the deployment was maintaining data confidentiality, particularly while users got to grips with the new system.
"We are very, very strong on confidentiality and security. Keeping data secure is a primary thing for us," he said, explaining how "classroom training" had been carried out for all 6,000 users of the software.
BMI said one of the reasons for choosing PeopleSoft is that the system is will function with the ‘Choose and Book' system for NHS appointments that is being updated in 2014".
Choose and Book currently processes 40,000 patient referrals per day to NHS and private hospitals, but the NHS now admits that the 2003-launched system does not stack up in a world of "agile, open technologies".
The NHS promises that a new Choose and Book system will "harness some of the new technologies used by the most successful IT companies in the world and, using the latest Agile development techniques".
To summarise, Cowley said PeopleSoft "offers a combination of strong vendor support, strong functionality and the flexibility we want".
"It's been a successful project, and a good piece of software."
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