openEHR and Postmodern EHR in practice: Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust Case

The last openEHR Day was organised by openEHR International and it was held in late October in London. Several healthcare and IT professionals highlighted ideas, opportunities and use cases to improve the current state of healthcare around the world and present their experience and vision for openEHR. Among them was also Andrew Forrest, chief information officer at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, who shared some experience in implementing the openEHR platform.


The Trust is undergoing a digital transformation journey, requiring digitisation and optimisation of clinical processes. It was awarded Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) status in 2016, an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering improvements in the quality of care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information.

After considering several options available, the Trust decided to pursue an open platform and portal based solution offering several advantages such as forming central record and clinical data repository, creating possibility for including key suppliers, agility and local control, flexible growth model enabling the Trust to lead the transformation according to their needs and resources.

To accelerate the transformation journey, the trust is utilising the openEHR platform and the Better Form Builder, which is visualised through the clinical portal. One of the most important advantages is enabling the best possible use of data as it is stored centrally in and structured, standard, vendor-neutral way.


Andrew Forrest, chief information officer at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, summarizes the importance of its transformation journey: "The ability to develop and iterate on solutions alongside frontline colleagues over days rather than months is key to ensuring optimised workflows, engaged clinical teams and improved patient outcomes."

The Trust has full control of the process and toolset. The whole technology stack is based on open formats and APIs, which can be used to its advantage by connecting other applications to store the data to the OpenEHR platform in an open and structured format. This concept enables the Trust to build up their existing systems with various best-of-type suites solving specific clinical needs using the clinical data repository.

This will create a 360 overview of the patient health record, linking data presentation and capture tools together, in a system designed alongside users, to improve care delivery, whilst working towards HIMSS level 7 based on the open platform approach.

Click here to see the complete presentation of Mr. Andrew Forrest as well as other content of the OpenEHR Day in London.

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