Trust builds cheaper record sharing system

United Bristol Healthcare Trust has begun the next stage in its ambitious project to provide a central repository for patient...

United Bristol Healthcare Trust has begun the next stage in its ambitious project to provide a central repository for patient records.

The trust is hooking up its ultrasound scanners to its EMC-based storage area network and network-attached storage to give healthcare professionals real-time remote access to the scans via PCs running Internet Explorer.

This is the latest development in the Bristol trust's content management strategy pioneered by Narasimha-Moorthy Shastry, a professor in the directorate of radiology at Bristol Royal Infirmary. He said, "Since 1996 Bristol has been looking to integrate all data sources for patients and make them available online to the clinical team managing patient care."

Shastry said the Bristol trust's system had led to considerable savings on commercially available products for archiving and deploying x-rays and other forms of patient images electronically.

Using a standards-based approach, Shastry has been able to develop a cheaper system than those adopted in other trusts in the South West. "We have insisted companies demonstrate their imaging systems on our network to see if they integrate well with the existing systems," he said.

The acquisition and integration of the San and Nas cost the trust less than £300,000, with annual running costs of £25,000.

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