A £22.2 million switch to paper-free patient records at Bradford hospitals has been hailed a success so far.

Clive Kay, chief executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the move away from paper notes to electronic patient records would mean better records which “means better care”.

He said it was an “enormous” change and that when it went live for the first time last weekend it went “extremely smoothly”.

However, Prof Kay has warned patients they might face longer waits while staff take time to get used to the new system – called Millennium and supplied by US software supplier Cerner.

The system in Bradford, already used by thousands of healthcare organisations around the world, was part of a joint roll-out project with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. An independent assessment said the benefits of the new system should cover what it cost.

Prof Kay said: “We have successfully launched our new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system across the whole of the Trust.

“This is an enormous service change which will help us provide truly outstanding care for our patients, as better records mean better care.

“The go-live period has gone extremely smoothly, and that is thanks to all our staff and volunteers who have worked round the clock to make this such a success.

“In line with other hospitals in the region, the Trust is extremely busy at the moment and in addition, as with anything new, it may take staff a little time to get used to EPR.

“This could mean some patients notice slightly longer waiting times when they are being booked in for an appointment, or when staff are looking up records. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

On the second full day of using the new electronic system, patient charts were opened more than 32,000 times, and 7,500 medicines were prescribed on the system, 25,000 next-step care requests were placed – such as for x-rays – doctors created more than 1,300 documents and nurses completed more than 2,200 tasks on the system.

Victoria Simmons, communications manager for independent health watchdog Healthwatch said: “We’ve had people out on the wards collecting patient feedback but we’ve heard nothing from the public at all, not a murmur.”