Kingston Hospital NHS Trust has begun redeploying its picture archiving system on a new architecture as it migrates off BT.
The trust will use a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) and enterprise content management platform from SynApps to secure transparent and safe access to images and patient information through a patient care pathway.
A single view of the patient is a key focus for the NHS.
In a recent interview with Computer Weekly, Tim Kelsey, NHS national director for patients and information, said: "We know that non-digital record-keeping contributes to harming patients in the worst situations, but also it causes an inconvenient and disrespectful environment where people find they have to repeat endlessly their identification when they come to different departments in the hospital.”
A picture archiving and communication system (PACS) was part of the NHS National Programme for IT. Kingston ran the Sectra PACS system onsite, but radiology archives were stored for a year at a BT datacentre.
Kingston has looked to create a master patient record that allows clinicians to access patient data from PACS as well as other digital imaging and communications in medicine (DiCom) data such as ophthalmic images and cardiology ultrasound images along with non-DiCom data.
Norman Harling, deputy director of information management and technology at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust, said: "We want to push as many documents as possible electronically."
The trust has just finished rolling out an electronic doctor clinical noting system and nursing assessments. According to Harling, 70 to 80% of correspondence with GPs goes out electronically.
The VNA will enable users in the hospital to share medical images and associated data with a single viewer, which supports zooming in and out and clinical measurement. This is to be rolled out in the next year.
Software development for connectivity to different systems as well as skills transfer are part of the 10-year contract with SynApps. Harling said Kington will deploy the latest version of Cerner Millennium and Sectra.
Even though Kingston decided to stick with Sectra as its PACS supplier, it has taken the trust six months to transfer 75% of the archived data to the new system. The new VNA and PACS are expected to go into production later this month and will be live in June, Harling said.