Ethical Healthcare’s electronic patient record (EPR) Domain Lead, Jennifer Dunne, has used her extensive experience of EPR procurement and implementation to write a 6-step guide to support those on their EPR journey.   

In step 3, Jennifer outlines how to achieve investment approval for an EPR programme.  


Step 3: Investment approval 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, digital transformation has become a necessity to improve patient care, streamline processes, and enhance clinician experience.  

One of the key initiatives in this regard is the implementation of an EPR programme. However, to ensure the success of such a transformative project, achieving investment approval is of paramount importance.   

The Full Business Case (FBC) 

The FBC serves as the cornerstone of any significant project, and an EPR programme is no exception.  

It provides a compelling case for change, articulating the urgent need to move from traditional paper-based records or sub-optimal solutions to a more efficient, secure, and interoperable digital system. The FBC should highlight the limitations of the existing record-keeping methods, such as inefficiencies, potential errors, and compromised data security.  

By showcasing the benefits of the EPR programme, including improved accuracy, seamless data sharing, and enhanced patient safety, stakeholders gain a clear understanding of why change is essential.  

Economic and financial affordability 

Financial considerations are critical when proposing an EPR programme.  

The FBC should present a comprehensive analysis of the economic and financial aspects, including initial investment costs, potential cost savings in the long run, and projected return on investment. Demonstrating the affordability of the EPR programme assures stakeholders that it will not only improve patient outcomes but also generate long-term financial benefits for the organisation.  

The Commercial Case and the Preferred Supplier  

Selecting the right supplier is crucial to the success of an EPR programme. The Commercial Case within the FBC should detail the key points of the contract with the preferred supplier, emphasising factors like data security, scalability, and support services. A robust commercial agreement ensures a mutually beneficial partnership that aligns with the organisation’s values and vision, laying the groundwork for a successful implementation.  

The Agreed Deployment Approach and Transformation Programme  

The success of an EPR programme lies in its effective implementation. The FBC must outline an Agreed Deployment Approach that outlines the step-by-step plan for introducing the EPR system into the organisation.  

This approach should encompass thorough training for staff, seamless data migration, and a strategy for managing any potential disruptions during the transition. The Transformation Programme provides a roadmap for aligning the EPR programme with the organisation’s goals, ensuring that it aligns with its overall vision for better clinician experience and patient outcomes.  

Key milestones  

Implementing an EPR programme is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning and execution.  

A detailed timeline with key milestones is essential for tracking progress, maintaining accountability, and ensuring that the project stays on schedule. The FBC should set realistic timeframes for each phase of the programme, considering the organisation’s capacity and potential challenges that may arise during implementation.  

Resource plan for success  

The successful implementation of an EPR programme demands a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.  

The Resource Plan within the FBC should identify the specific skills and experience required from within the Trust, such as IT expertise, clinical knowledge, and change management skills. Additionally, it should highlight the need for external expertise, including digital and transformation consultants and data security specialists, to support the organisation in achieving its goals.  


Investment approval for an EPR programme is a pivotal step towards ensuring the success of a transformative healthcare initiative.  

The FBC serves as a comprehensive guide, advocating the case for change, addressing the economic viability, and outlining a robust commercial agreement with the preferred supplier. Moreover, an effective deployment approach, a well-structured Transformation Programme, and a carefully crafted Resource Plan are instrumental in driving positive clinician experience and improved patient outcomes.  

By obtaining investment approval and prioritising digital transformation, healthcare organisations can revolutionise patient care, optimise processes, and empower their clinicians to provide the highest level of care. Embracing innovation and patient-centric strategies, organisations can position themselves for long-term success and foster a positive impact on the healthcare industry as a whole.  


Read Step 1: Strategy and Step 2: Procurement here.  


Follow our blog, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for the next steps in Jennifer’s 6-step guide to electronic patient record (EPR) procurement and implementation.  


Get in touch  

If you’d like to discuss your EPR strategy with Jennifer, contact her on