Functional specification

Researching the full list of suppliers and systems available might seem overwhelming, but to make an informed procurement decision you need to understand the full range of systems available to you. It’s unlikely that there will be one product that ticks all of your requirements, but understanding what is (and isn’t) technologically possible as well as financially viable will support you to make your final decision. Here are a few tips on drawing up a list of functional requirements and expected outputs and outcomes that you should consider.

The team you need

Clinical Execs, Tech Team, Informatics Team

What to do

  • Decide which clinical areas will be affected

    For example, Inpatient wards – often with one or two specialist clinical areas (such as critical care or paediatrics) that are exceptions or where implementation is delayed or in Outpatient clinics – sometimes this area is implemented first, sometimes last.

  • Draw up high level requirements

    The requirements and vision you set out will help you build your clinical test scenarios, which can be used alongside suppliers’ system demonstrations to clarify outputs, expected outcomes and anticipated benefits


    Why not have a look brand new Benefits Realisation resource to further understand what a system should look to achieve?

  • Research existing systems

    Look at the various systems available to you and conduct in-depth functional reviews on these systems. Ask suppliers for product demonstrations to better understand whether their offer matches your desired objectives.

  • Review Patient journeys

    ePrescribing is a real-time clinical information system that cuts directly across multiple professional domains and closely supports care pathways and the patient journey. ePMA can reduce the need for intervention and can help minimise interruptions to the patient journey.  Review your current patient journey and think about how ePMA can help your trust better manage patient journeys from pre-admission through to discharge

  • Learn from others

    Visiting hospitals that are further along the implementation process than you will give you a much clearer idea of what is possible and help you to define your system requirements. A good option would to be visit GDE sites – you can find the full list of GDE’s here


Head on over to our NHS Futures, our collaboration platform, to continue this discussion

Or find more support on Hexitime.