Cornwall trust puts legacy data on view

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has completed the core phases of an integration project which will see legacy data from 15...

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has completed the core phases of an integration project which will see legacy data from 15 green screen systems merged to give one single-view patient record.

The project, which forms part of the Government's Information for Health strategy, has also allowed the trust to breath new life into legacy systems.

Andrew Forrest, project manager for the trust, said, "We had a lot of old-fashioned systems and it wasn't an option to move from purely admin-oriented information to a patient-centric system. We faced the choice of switching them off or replacing them wholesale."

He said the project was expensive, adding that return on investment was difficult to quantify because targets straddled the requirements of several departments and that patient satisfaction was the overall goal.

The integration architecture and software consists of a database which tracks and replicates information from source databases, merging it in a central location to give one view of patient records.

"The challenge was to provide real-time open access with data retrieved in 10 seconds and little impact on the existing systems. It also needed to be an architecture we could add to easily in future," said Forrest.

The core of the existing infrastructure is an EDS Swift patient administration system with departments running flat file databases.

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