Author Archives: Sara Paine

SynApps Applauds New IT Trade Body’s Demands For Better Information Governance In The UK Public Sector

Tony Backhouse 27f8d29By Tony Backhouse, Head of Healthcare Practice, SynApps Solutions

As we all settle down to the next five years of our new government, now is the time to start a debate about the best way to help deliver the most effective public services.

Technology is often pushed to the top of the queue when it comes to transforming public services, as we all know. Critics tend to respond that technology is often used an alternative to increased investment.

They may well have a point, and after five years of austerity, many public sector leaders wonder if there’s any ‘fat’ left to cut before we get to real flesh and bone. But in the NHS, there is a clear response, in the form of the seminal ‘Five Year Forward View’, to this question: we need more money and we need creative, intelligent use of digital solutions, too.

Here at SynApps, we know from our work on Vendor Neutral Archiving and Open Source clinical content solutions that stakeholders are increasingly convinced that smart technology is an invaluable tool in their hands.

A new call we can all get behind

However, one big barrier remains. It’s not a functionality problem. We have great technology already.

What we are missing is a common, easy way for those technologies – at all levels, between all sorts of partner organisations and teams in health, social and community care – to work together.

What’s holding us back: silos. silos of information, the way we have sectioned up data and patient information resources in ways that make it impossible to connect up the way we want.

That’s why we are throwing our support behind the call by the new pressure group of vendors behind networking technologies in the public sector, Innopsis for more effective, safer information sharing across the public sector.

The body, which launched last week after a re-branding from its previous identity as PSNGB, says that what the heads of major Departments like Health and DWP should be doing is taking on board the potential to transform public services by better enabling organisations to safely share more information – something it sees as a “huge, largely untapped opportunity” for UK Plc.

The evidence is mounting up at the coalface

Who can disagree with its further point that if public sector organisations could safely share information, for example across multi-agency safeguarding hubs, which could form a single point of contact to report safeguarding concerns, we can make real progress here.

Progress and savings, too. This is not just Innopsis’ conviction but that of many experienced leaders in both the buyer and commercial community around the NHS. And it’s ours based on the real savings we can see our Trust customers achieving every day.

Let’s hope Whitehall listens to Innopsis, our customers and the larger community at this formative time – as the next five years could be a lot more successful and productive as a result.

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Chooses New Content And Imaging Solution As Stepping Stone To Going Fully Paperless

– Croydon Health Services NHS Trust becomes the latest health service institution to use a standards-based way to extend its PACS database as a route to meeting its ‘Paperless NHS by 2018’ target –

Maidenhead, UK, 13 May, 2015 – Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has purchased a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) content platform from content management leader SynApps Solutions to store patient X-ray images as it migrates off its National Programme for IT (NPfIT) contract.

In the words of its Chief Clinical Information Officer, Dr. Tony Newman-Sanders, “In the past several years we have been working with other organisations across our health community in South West London, on how to use the opportunity of reprocuring our picture archiving and communication system [PACS] and associated image data store to do it all better second time around,” explains Dr. Newman-Sanders.

The new system will not just underpin its new PACS solution it will also enable the Trust to share all kinds of content more effectively across different departments of the Trust which includes acute and community services. The Trust also hopes that, working with other SynApps solutions across South West London, it will be able to safely share patient images with other healthcare providers in a way that NPfIT was unable to achieve.

To get there, Croydon has renewed a core PACS contract with PACS leader Sectra, but has added on the SynApps-sourced VNA content management system, based on the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) Documentum from EMC, that will allow clinicians much easier access to radiology data.

The solution includes all existing diagnostic radiology images but will soon include a host of non-radiology files, from cardiology, obstetric ultrasound, plus videos of arthroscopies from theatre, endoscopy and medical photography.

Beyond that, Croydon is planning for the VNA to encompass a vast range of non-imaging data – such as structured and unstructured medical documents and eventually linking up with the organisation’s SharePoint collaboration engine to manage corporate documents and management processes on a single platform.

Croydon reviewed the services of several VNA manufacturers before selecting SynApps and Sectra, with the former’s expertise in open data standards such as XDS being a key factor, says Dr Newman-Sanders. “Having data secured in a non-proprietary format was at the top of our priorities,” he confirms, while the potential of VNA as a driver towards becoming ‘paperless,’ was another plus point.

Commenting on securing Croydon as another major UK Trust moving to a VNA-based content approach beyond PACS, SynApps Solutions’ Managing Director, Jim Whitelaw, noted, “We are delighted to be working with another major NHS body to help it realise its paperless ambitions.”

The PACS side of the deal was signed in January, with the VNA set for go live with both archived and new X-ray imagery in June 2015.

About SynApps

SynApps is an independent services and solutions company specialising in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies. Founded in 2003 by former Documentum services professionals, the company provides consultancy, implementation and support services for EMC Documentum, and has authored a suite of content integration solutions, ConXApps, that allow businesses to quickly maximise their investment in ECM technologies. Organisations across healthcare, government and commercial markets rely on SynApps solutions and services to capture and share knowledge more dynamically and efficiently.

Find out more at synapps-solutions.com, or follow the firm on Twitter @SynAppsSol

SynApps Wins Extensive And Positive Coverage Around Work Helping Hospital Trusts Realise EPR Ambitions Via VNA

SynApps Solutions and its key technology partner Alfresco have just launched a unique new Open Source VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) medical data system for the UK health market, based on Alfresco’s technology.

The system was the subject of extensive reporting by UK tech and HIT (health IT) titles, such as The Enquirer, Digital Health News (formerly E-Health Insider) and 24n.Biz.
According to Digital Health News (formerly E-Health Insider), in a widely-viewed news piece which generated 18 comments, Peter Coates, NHS England’s Open Source programme manager, was quoted as follows: “‘I think this is a key piece of the jigsaw puzzle of a whole open digital ecosystem that we’re all going to need to enable data portability and integration.’”

According to 24n.Biz, in an interview with pioneering user of the VNA approach, Rachel Dunscombe, CIO of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, “Open Source becomes all the more important when in the context of a VNA [as] archiving technology can become interoperable, allowing the incorporation of different types of data from all over a hospital.”

http://www.digitalhealth.net/news/ehi/9970/open-source-vna-fits-digital-%E2%80%98jigsaw%E2%80%99

http://24n.biz/news/open-source-vnas-are-the-future-of-the-nhs-.html

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2401818/nhs-rolls-out-vendor-neutral-archive-initiative-to-open-source-records

SynApps Receives Platinum Status From EMC

SynApps Solutions is delighted to announce it has received confirmation from its key technology partner EMC that the company, its content management solutions and its services have all achieved the highest partner quality rating EMC can offer.

‘Platinum’ level accreditation for 2015 has been awarded to the company based on revenue, EMC training, and speciality achievements accrued over the last 12 months.

This is significant given the close relationship between the two parties, with the vendor’s award-winning Documentum Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, being core to what SynApps does.

It is, for example, the basis for the EMC-certified SynApps’ ConXOffice and ConXMail content management solutions which provide a seamless Microsoft Office user experience for Enterprise Content Management users.

It is also the basis for the company’s push into the healthcare market in the shape of SynApps’ work with its Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) content system, already helping a score of UK hospitals better deal with patient imagery and data, which recently evolved into the SynApps’ Clinical Content Store.

SynApps Solutions and Alfresco Launch Open Source VNA Medical Content Platform

Content management leader SynApps Solutions and its key technology partner Alfresco today unveil ground-breaking Open Source NHS IT solution

Maidenhead, UK, 26 March, 2015 – Content management leader SynApps Solutions and key technology partner Alfresco are today launching the Open Source VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) medical data system for the UK health market – based on Alfresco’s award-winning technology and functionality from integration leader J4Care, delivered and supported via SynApps’ extensive professional skills and resources.

VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) platform is a strongly-emerging standards-based way of extending PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) services to manage DICOM and other format content so as to make the sharing of medical and patient information as easy, secure and safe as possible.

The additional benefit of using Open Source resources means Trusts looking to evolve their own local, workable health IT (HIT) solutions can take full ownership of the code and develop it to meet their specific institutional requirements as well as facilitate the sharing of NHS Apps built on the platform.

“We are delighted to be offering certified technology we know works in the NHS via the highly promising route of Open Source,” said SynApps Solutions Sales & Marketing Director, Mark Winstone.

Commenting on the move, Jean van Vuuren, Head of Healthcare UK & Ireland at Alfresco, added, “SynApps is a long-standing partner and a genuine innovator in the area of VNA.

“We are really excited about Alfresco and SynApps coming together with a medical solution that is Open Source at a time when the NHS is really starting to be open to the possibilities that entails.”

All three partners stress their conviction that NHS Trusts can enjoy a wide range of post National Programme for IT benefits via VNA in the field of data management, while Open Source is establishing itself as the way CCIOs can achieve local autonomy and innovation, now the days of big contracts are drawing to a close.

“We believe there is a great synergy between the open standards in a VNA and the Open Source approach offered by Alfresco and believe it has a enormous potential,” confirmed Winstone.

NHS health leaders, CCIOs (Chief Clinical Information Officers) and other HIT (Health IT) stakeholders are invited to hear more at a special launch event being held today, March 26 (1.30 – 4.30 pm), at the Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds, LS1 5NS.

At today’s event, delegates can hear more about an Open Source VNA-based route to clinical content management, with the day focusing on an exploration of the new product, plus presentations from NHS England’s Open Source Programme internal champion, Peter Coates, as well as a pioneering user of the VNA approach – Rachel Dunscombe, CIO, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS England’s Peter Coates and Rachel Dunscombe, CIO, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, are available for interview on why VNAs are swiftly emerging as the best way for NHS bodies to store and easily access clinical information, as well as why Open Source is the best route out of the Programme for both PACS but a range of other applications – please contact Sarum PR to arrange.

About SynApps

SynApps is an independent services and solutions company specialising in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies. Founded in 2003 by former Documentum services professionals, the company provides consultancy, implementation and support services for EMC Documentum, and has authored a suite of content integration solutions, ConXApps, that allow businesses to quickly maximise their investment in ECM technologies. Organisations across healthcare, government and commercial markets rely on SynApps solutions and services to capture and share knowledge more dynamically and efficiently.

Find out more at http://www.synapps-solutions.com or follow the firm on Twitter @SynAppsSol

SynApps Receives Product Stamp Of Approval From IT Giant EMC

Content management leader SynApps Solutions confirms certification from its technology partner EMC for its ConXOffice and ConXMail content management solutions

Maidenhead, UK, 23 March, 2015 – Content management leader SynApps Solutions has received confirmation from key technology partner EMC that SynApps’ ConXOffice and ConXMail content management solutions are fully certified by the IT leader.

The certification process is based on a rigorous validation process by EMC Proven Professionals for functional completeness, performance and scalability – meaning any EMC-trained IT professional can now have full confidence in these solutions, says the partner.

Through the use of ConXMail, knowledge workers are empowered to work with Microsoft Outlook © as usual but now have seamless access to the Corporate repository through the same user interface. Users are able to drag and drop emails and attached documents into the Corporate repository, full Read and Update functionality is also provided for documents thus alleviating the need to utilise another client application. ConXMail allows an organisation to meet the ever changing and challenging requirements of their business ensuring appropriate information and business rules are applied when storing email messages and attachments into the repository, whilst also validating any metadata entered by the user

At the same time, integrating Enterprise Content Management features directly into the Microsoft Office © interfaces, ConXOffice empowers knowledge workers with full Create, Review, Update and Delete (CRUD) functionality that allows them complete control over relevant business documents using common applications which they use on a daily basis. ConXOffice provides users access to the underlying repository directly from within the following desktop productivity tools; Microsoft Word ©, Microsoft Excel ©, Microsoft Powerpoint © , Microsoft Project, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Visio

These transformative solutions have been validated by EMC Proven Professional Certified Architects in order to achieve the EMC Certified designation. Certified for functional completeness, these solutions reduce risk and unexpected costs, while delivering faster time-to-value and easy scalability. Rigorous architectural review ensures lower TCO, optimized performance and scalability, meanwhile.

“We are honoured to have received this accreditation,” added SynApps Solutions’ Managing Director, Jim Whitelaw.

“It is very satisfying that our efforts to provide a seamless Microsoft Office user experience for Enterprise Content Management via ConXOffice and ConXMail have been recognised by as important an enterprise IT vendor as EMC.”

About SynApps
SynApps is an independent services and solutions company specialising in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies. Founded in 2003 by former Documentum services professionals, the company provides consultancy, implementation and support services for EMC Documentum, and has authored a suite of content integration solutions, ConXApps, that allow businesses to quickly maximise their investment in ECM technologies.
Organisations across healthcare, government and commercial markets rely on SynApps solutions and services to capture and share knowledge more dynamically and efficiently.
Find out more at www.synapps-solutions.com, or follow the firm on Twitter @SynAppsSol

The NHS Is Getting Interested In Open Source: And That’s A Good Thing

By Jean van Vuuren, Head of Healthcare UK & Ireland, Alfresco Software

We’re delighted to hear this week from an important partner of ours, Alfresco, which has been doing some very interesting work with the NHS around Open Source – work that’s now evolving into some great VNA developments.

I am delighted to be able to talk to the SynApps community. We see SynApps as one of our most significant implementation partners, so this is a great way to acknowledge that, but also to discuss how we’re making great progress together in a very important market.

That market is the NHS, and together we’ve just built the first UK Open Source VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) medical data system – based on Alfresco’s award-winning technology together with some functionality from J4Care, and brought to market via SynApps’ integration and professional skills and resources. (Please go here http://www.synapps-solutions.com/products/vna to find out more.)

Why is this a significant development? I can answer the question in three ways: 1, the Open Source angle, 2, the NHS market view and 3, the VNA aspect.

The Open Source angle first. Here I think it’s worth spending a few moments clearing up some mistaken assumptions about Open Source.

First off, Open Source is not free. That isn’t its value or the source of its attraction. Alfresco is an Open Source company that sells to the enterprise. Like all enterprise-facing Open Source vendors, we don’t offer non-cost products, but instead, we offer a free community version of our solution, plus a paid-for, commercially supported and scalable one. What makes it ‘Open Source’ is that with both you have access to the code – and you can see exactly how things get done. Most users of Open Source clinical lead production systems will select a commercially supported release as it is fully supported and fully tested by the vendor. This reduces any clinical risk of running an unsupported and untested platform. At the same time, ‘Open’ really does mean that – Alfresco is all about open standards so as to encourage the most interoperability and sharing of functionality we can. It’s an approach that NHS organisations have already picked up on, even before this VNA work, like a project at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. So the first reason I think, that this VNA work we’re doing together is important, is it shows the power of Open Source as an approach in itself.

The days of NHS IT ‘vendor lock-in’ are over

Which brings me to the second point – the NHS and Open Source. The NHS, as it moves on from the National Programme for IT, is becoming more interested in Open Source as a resource. In fact, we’ve been in close contact with the internal team at NHS England that is working with Trust CCIOS (Chief Clinical Information Officers, the heads of IT for many health institutions) (see here to encourage local autonomy and more innovative approaches to sourcing IT, now the days of big contracts are drawing to a close. NHS England is trying to encourage local purchasing and IT decision-making, and it is convinced that Open Source is of great importance in that regard. A key driver is openness and choice – the NHS doesn’t want to have to deal with any kind of vendor lock-in. Open means that NHS developers can adapt code and play with systems in a way that suits them, not the vendor, in other words, which is also seen as a big bonus by NHS England leadership. So, the second reason I think it’s important that Alfresco and SynApps are coming together with a medical solution that is Open Source is that it’s at a time when the NHS is really starting to be open to the possibilities that entails.

And the third reason we are interested in this partnership between ourselves, SynApps and J4Care are the same reasons SynApps has been promoting a VNA and Document Management approach; there is just so much that NHS Trusts can do with this form of data management! VNAs are swiftly emerging as the best way for organisations to not just store and easily access (in a safe and secure manner) important patient images, but also all the associated clinical information that clinicians want to see online – that single electronic patient record ideal that never really came out of the National Programme, but which we all see as key to the ‘paperless NHS’ model the Secretary of State said he wants in place by 2018.

Three powerful reasons, I hope you agree, on why this first NHS Open Source VNA is worthy of your attention. We’re really excited about this, and hope you are too.

SynApps, Alfresco and J4Care will be revealing more about their new Open Source VNA solution at launch event for the Open Source VNA solution on March 26 (1.30 – 4.30 pm) at the Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds, LS1 5NS.
http://www.alfresco.com/events/open-source-vna-launch