The CHU in Nantes starts its Journey towards being a digital Hospital: The Story of a successful ‘Big Bang’ Go-Live

26 January 2016

On 27th May, Nantes University Hospital (Nantes CHU) began its ‘big bang’ go-live with the deployment of the Cerner Millennium® Electronic Health Record for 3,000 beds across all its facilities.

The project, nicknamed ‘Ulysse’, involved all 32 hospital departments: including, medicine, psychiatry and long stay, operating rooms, anesthesia and critical care, surgery, maternity, the ER and technical facilities.

Thanks to this computerisation of patient records, seven departments are now fully digital, which means all the information required to provide care is shared by all professionals: documentation, mail, multi-mode ordering, appointments, etc.

Currently 1,600 users connect to the system every day; over 25,000 patient records are opened every day; and - crucially – 8,700 health care professionals can now access these records. It’s also possible to organise patient pathways, connect medical devices and access patient records on a smartphone. A successful big bang go live!

Philippe Sudreau, Chief Executive Officer of Nantes CHU, highlighted the challenges of the Ulysse Project. Firstly, for patients and staff, "the goal of the Ulysse Project is to improve the quality of care and give caregivers time back to focus on their core activities, which is spending time with patients. Nantes CHU must also open up to the externally to its partners - a challenge where communication is essential."

Mr Sudreau also recalled the university-hospital aspect of the CHU. "Here, too, Ulysse is a modern and effective tool, which provides us with powerful ways to consolidate the research at Nantes CHU."

The ability to easily share quality information has already been identified as a significant improvement in patient care. "Millennium brings us into the era of the digital hospital by providing quality, security and sharing of information", said Dr Joanna Rome-Saulnier, Medical Director of the Ulysse Project.

This amazing digital conversion has mobilised nearly 200 people on the ground to support the teams who now use Cerner Millennium on a daily basis. 60 technical and functional experts are in charge of fixing any issues that may come along the way in a "command centre", which is equipped with 24/7 telephone support. During the first 10 days, these experts have assisted with the system adoption "The success of this excellent project is the result of the work of an excellent project team." said Thomas Lechevallier, Ulysse Project Manager.

The construction of this digital hospital provides a crucial foundation for the continued promotion of health care excellence on the Île de Nantes. "Digital technology is an absolutely extraordinary tool," concluded Philippe Sudreau. "The CHU of the future will be digital and will enable us to really remain in a leading position."

Cerner, a world leader in healthcare transformation, is supporting Nantes CHU in this transformation toward the future digital hospital. "Cerner is celebrating 10 years of being in France this year, this big bang go-live is the result of the great maturity of our teams and our solutions", said Pascal Dussert, Project Manager, Cerner France. "The digital transformation of Nantes CHU has begun. This project has united the facility's caregivers, doctors and senior staff in their mutual goal of continuously improving patient care. It will contribute to the pursuit of excellence at Nantes CHU." said Emil Peters, General Manager, Cerner Europe.