HIMSS has welcomed plans for NHS trusts to receive national investment to help them achieve EMRAM Stage 5 or above.

Under the new plans, NHS England (NHSE) will prioritise the least digitally mature NHS trusts for future investment funding in electronic patient record systems (EPRs), according to Digital Health News.

It reports that trusts have been divided into four groups ranging from the lowest Group 0 (which have no EPR) to Group 3 (equivalent to EMRAM Stage 5).

Around 25 trusts in Group 0 will receive funding to help them implement EPRs. Meanwhile, a further 45 trusts will be brought up to the common baseline of Stage 5 on the HIMSS EMRAM, or Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, which measures the adoption and maturity of a health facility’s inpatient EPR capabilities from 0 to 7.


The new approach to funding is a departure from the flagship Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme of targeting investment to the most digitally advanced acute, mental health and ambulance trusts, which would work with ‘fast followers” to help accelerate digital transformation.

In the 2022/2023 priorities and operations planning guidance NHSE sets out plans to “rapidly and consistently adopt new models of care that exploit the full potential of digital technologies” to achieve a core level of digitalisation by March 2025, in line with the NHS long term plan.


UK hospitals to achieve Stage 7 on the EMRAM include Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS FT, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland Royal Hospital, and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Among the UK hospitals to be validated at EMRAM Stage 6 are Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.


John Rayner, regional director for EMEA at HIMSS, said: “It is important to use a well-established international maturity model to provide a benchmarking reference from hospitals in England, Europe and around the world who have already completed an EMRAM survey. In order to demonstrate progress, the same model should be available at a number of checkpoints in the future. HIMSS provides both these opportunities through the unique range of maturity models.

“Meeting the EMRAM Stage 5 standards is a significant achievement for any hospital but especially for those who have not yet started on their EPR journey. Using the Stage 5 standards as a common baseline is sensible, 2023 should be a national target for all.

“The NHS in England have for many years been associated with schemes to incentivise providers to improve levels of digital maturity. The GDE programme attempted to identify some of the best whilst this latest initiative is clearly applying focus elsewhere demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the benefits associated with electronic patient record deployment.”

Healthcare IT News contacted NHS England but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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