Gateshead NHS migrates over one million radiology images

Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust moves images and scans to a central archive which can be viewed from any department in the hospital

Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust has migrated over one million images and scans to a central archive, which can be viewed from any department in the hospital.

Following the end of a National Programme for IT (NPfIT) contract with Accenture, Gateshead chose BridgeHead to deliver the archiving system, which provides the trust with added sharing and protection capabilities for the radiology department.

Images such as CT, MR, ultrasound and computed radiography are stored in Carestream’s Vue PACS system. But before the images could get to that point, BridgeHead had to take the data from the Accenture platform and migrate it into a supplier-neutral format before making it available to the PACS.

Clare Jones, radiology IT systems manager at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, says that, over the nine month project, the “burning concern” was localising the imaging data from the locked-down Accenture platform to the VNA. 

“It was a stage approach,” she says. “First stage was to localise and move the data from one place to another, the second was to migrate it from proprietary to vendor neutral.”

Jones explains that having the data in a supplier-neutral format provides more freedom for the trust to choose a more competitive supplier in the future if need be.

“If we decided to change PACS provider, we wouldn’t have to do a major migration again – migrating data is costly, time-consuming and you have to acknowledge that that piece of work needs to be done,” she adds. “It’s a big piece of work moving and changing format, but we won’t have to do it again.”

Jones says the BridgeHead storage archive is also more resilient than Accenture's in the way the architecture is built. Being a subset of BridgeHead’s wider Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution, it offers additional features of backup and disaster recovery.

Jim Beagle, CEO of BridgeHead Software says: “When managing patient information in an application-independent clinical archive, data retention, data quality and conformance to standards facilitates informed decision-making about patients. BridgeHead worked collaboratively with Carestream to ensure compliance to the DICOM standard and to correct any pre-existing data quality issues, thereby meeting the strict data retention requirements and data quality standards outlined in our SLA with Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.”

The system is scalable and, in the future, the NHS Trust is considering expanding the scope of the original project beyond radiology. BridgeHead’s platform could be used to streamline legacy hospital systems and store other types of images as well as patient records.

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