UK's Sunderland Royal Hospital validated at Stage 6 of EMRAM

Sunderland Royal Hospital was recently awarded Stage 6 on the EMRAM by HIMSS. The general medical and surgical hospital is part of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, a recognised Global Digital Exemplar (GDE), and has over 54,000 inpatient stays per year.

The Trust has significant buy-in from senior hospital staff and management supporting the hospital’s digital development. During the assessment, it was noted that staff were comfortable and competent managing the software and responded positively to its implementation.


EMRAM, or the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, measures the adoption and maturity of a health facility’s EMR capabilities from 0 to 7. It was devised by HIMSS, the owner of Healthcare IT News.

John Rayner, the regional director for EMEA at HIMSS Analytics Solutions, commended Sunderland Royal: “The hospital is virtually paperless, and what little paper there is gets scanned into the electronic patient record in a timely manner. The organisation has really embraced the power of technology into clinical processes and nursing workflows to an extent where all clinicians are now totally reliant on electronic systems.”

The paper usage at the hospital is limited to very particular services, such as consent forms, theatre tray tracking forms and anaesthetic and ICU observation charts.

The hospital was also praised for its centralised LIMS and their plans to store most, if not all, their clinical images in the same store.


The GDE programme was set up in 2016 to recognise, promote and support digital adoption and innovation in NHS trusts. In December 2019, following the launch of NHSX, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new ‘digital aspirant’ scheme to aid digital advancement in English hospitals.


Director of information management and technology at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Andrew Hart, described the efforts of the hospital: “Core to this success has been our deployment approach, ensuring IT programmes are always clinically led, with clear ownership and accountability. In parallel, our clinical colleagues are supported extensively by the IT team and our EPR supplier, MEDITECH.”

“I am delighted to see the work the Trust has done in partnership with MEDITECH recognised by this independent accreditation,” said Kevin Joisce, associated medical director for health informatics at Sunderland Royal Hospital. “As a clinician I have no doubt the use of the EMR enhances the care I deliver. The access to information, embedded decision support tools and interoperability with other partner organisations reduces risk and improves patient outcomes. The clinical governance of the Trust is built upon the foundations of the EMR.’’

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