NHS needs a ‘postmodern EHR approach’, says founder of openEHR vendor Better

A “postmodern EHR approach” can benefit the NHS by avoiding the need to be locked into one supplier, according to Better founder and chief executive Tomaž Gornik.

Speaking at the Digital Health Rewired conference in London tomorrow, Gornik will argue that trusts which do not want the cost of working with a single vendor must first move their data onto an open platform that can feed the different applications clinicians need. 

“The key concepts are a standards-based, vendor-neutral clinical data repository with a strong interoperability layer and low-code toolkits that can support an ecosystem of best of breed applications. 

“Organisations can then deploy these applications according to their resources and the needs of clinicians and patient,” Gornik is expected to say.


An OpenEHR consists of open specifications, clinical models and software that can be used to create standards and build information and interoperability solutions for healthcare. 

Gornik will say that, through this approach, organisations could take advantage of new technologies while keeping systems running and creating “an app store of innovation that builds on that legacy”.  


Better’s openEHR platform supports 22 million patients in more than 500 hospitals in 15 countries worldwide, including the NHS. 

Plymouth NHS Trust became the first organisation in the UK to go-live with OPENeP, electronic medication prescribing solution, in June last year, working in partnership with CGI. 

Global digital exemplar (GDE), Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, has implemented the Better Platform, which stores, manages, queries, retrieves and exchanges structured EHR data based on the latest release of openEHR specifications. The trust is using a clinical portal to give staff access to advanced clinical functionality including OPENeP and Better Form Builder to create clinical documents. It has also adopted Better Portal; a clinical portal for patient management.

OPENeP has also been chosen by Wye Valley NHS Trust, where it will be deployed in partnership with Epro, and Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, where it will be deployed in partnership with Alcidion. 


“We look forward to outlining our latest developments to the UK health tech community, and to discussing how they can support the NHS as it moves into the new, open era,” Gornik said in a statement.

Andrew Forrest, chief information officer at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, added: “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.”

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