Ideal supports healthcare organisations through the complex process of health systems procurement including requirement definition and supplier selection.


An Electronic Patient Record implementation is a complex strategic programme that has the potential to transform an organisation. It requires a high level of investment and commitment of resources over a significant period of time. There are also important compliance considerations to be made as whichever procurement route the Trust selects must also comply with OGC rules. With so much at stake, specific expertise is required to ensure that Trusts makes the right investment decisions, have clearly defined requirements that meet stated business and clinical goals and select the supplier that is best able to meet these.

Key Trust Issues

When a Trust is looking at procuring an EPR, an extensive number of strategic activities are required. The Trust must defined and secure the level of investment required from the board. They must define the requirements of the health system with input from multiple stakeholders across various staff groups. Communication with suppliers must be effective and conducive to a positive outcome, but within OGC competition rules.

In line with public sector procurement rules, Trusts are required to comply with OGC rules, to follow the appropriate procurement process and produce the required documentation. Therefore to mitigate against the risk of the wrong decisions being made, Trusts require specific expertise in EPR procurement including a thorough knowledge of the supplier market and OGC procurement rules. Trusts also require expertise in requirements definition in a healthcare environment alongside a clear understanding of the appropriate approach to engage clinicians and other staff in the programme and the transformation.

However, it is rare that this full capability is available in house, partly due to the infrequency of projects of this nature and also as a legacy of the National Programme for IT where procurement took place at a central government level.

Areas of support

Ideal supports Trusts through all stages of health systems procurement:

  • Scoping, procurement strategy and planning
  • Market testing and early options appraisal
  • Guidance around the procurement process and OGC compliance
  • Outline and Full Business Case Preparation

(Green Book Five Case Model)

  • Requirements gathering and definition
  • Production of Output Based Specification (OBS)
  • Production of tender documentation and managing the tender process
  • Contract negotiation

How Ideal can support you

Ideal provides expertise in the form of flexible solutions to assist Trusts with the decisions and activities associated with a large scale health system/EPR procurement. This is typically on a fixed price deliverable or project basis but our aim is to create a solution that is tailored to your needs.