Tags: Clinical Content Store

Another Key Year For ECM – And Synapps – Is Starting

Mark Winstone gets out his crystal ball to try and see what 2015 looks like delivering for both NHS and other Enterprise Content Management customers

January is a natural time of year for reflecting briefly on what 2015 looks like shaping up to be.

Here at SynApps Solutions, the answer is ‘a pretty good one!’ We are going into 2015 after a strong 12 months. In particular, 2014 was a very strong year for us in the UK healthcare market. This was due to our work in the first part of the year around our Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), which has now evolved into our new Clinical Content Store.

Some really significant customer wins are starting to come through on this, like our project at Northampton General Hospital (http://www.synapps-solutions.com/news/northampton-general-hospital-chooses-a-synapps-vendor-neutral-archive-content-store), more of which we will be sharing with you soon and which will be the basis for very strong growth in the months ahead for us. Which is great for us, sure – but the real significance of VNA/CCS is the way it’s starting to help NHS Trusts start to work together and start properly (and securely) sharing patient data at long last.

No wonder, then, that I and the rest of the SynApps team think our 2015 healthcare ‘story’ is going to be all about expanding our footprint in the Vendor Neutral Archive space – both with our existing and new customers, starting with conversations around the entry level VNA and then the Clinical Content Store. That’s because we see enormous potential in potentially retiring legacy systems that they have and transferring the real ‘gold dust’ into the Store.

We are also very much aligned, meanwhile, with the overall NHS mission of going paperless by 2015 (http://digitalchallenge.dh.gov.uk). That drive from central government is making budget available and allowing Clinical Chief Information Officers in the NHS to finally start investing in VNA-style platform implementations as opposed to print solutions, as the market finally moves on from the National Programme (for all of its many positives, it really is time to start thinking beyond it now). Oh, and one more thing we are really excited about, the development of Open Source ECM solutions especially for those areas of the NHS that have been neglected until recently.

Let’s conclude on the public sector side of things for now with a quick set of thoughts on cloud. We are getting a lot of interest outside the NHS as regards cloud-delivered ECM. (In the NHS, there are applications such as the personal health record which do lend themselves to more of a cloud-based application, but our take on that is that security concerns will tend to push managers to more of a ‘hybrid’ approach.) But we do have to express a bit of caution about any expectations that 2015 will be a massive year for G-Cloud (or what we must all now start calling the Government Digital Marketplace (https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk). What we are finding as a long-term G-Cloud support and supplier is that G-Cloud seems to be more for commodity items buying and not for more configurable solutions. We are very happy with the CloudStore but, as it stands at least, expect to get more business with the UK public sector via the other buying frameworks out there as they tend to be more applicable to the kind of configurable solution we as a company tend to sell.

What do I mean by configurable? G-Cloud is great for when you say, ‘I want to buy an HR personnel records management solution for x pounds per month,’ you buy it, the functionality is fixed, it does what it says on the tin. The reality is, though, certainly with enterprise content management, that pretty much every customer we work with doesn’t want that – they want their ECM to be configured to work in line with how their specific business works. So for 2015 at least, we don’t think there will be a lot of content management procurement that will go through the Marketplace.

A move to platform ECM?

Healthcare was a very important area for us already, but the growth of acceptance of our VNA approach to helping hospitals deal with patient imagery and data is putting it ever-higher in our business mix; I would say probably 40 to 50% of our activity in 2015 as a company will be in healthcare, in fact.

But that doesn’t mean that our other corporate Enterprise Content Management (ECM) work is getting de-prioritised; far from it! We are going great guns with our key partners of EMC and Alfresco in promoting content management in all sorts of markets. Our business is about providing content management solutions, with healthcare as just one face of that.

What of that market, though – the wider content management one? It’s going to be another good year for ECM, we predict. For one, it is still very much a growth market and a growing business. In terms of other drivers, 2015 will see ECM become more and more about mobile access, we think – about being able to get your content management on the go/wherever the business needs it, there is quite a push in that direction in the marketplace. We are also definitely starting to hear more from our customers about a general move towards hosted solutions and many more ‘all cloud’ solutions, too.

What’s behind that shift: businesses are much keener on platform solution these days. Or rather, whereas at one time we used to see ECM as all about one application or project, now it’s much more about creating a more sustainable, long-term environment for important information. Just before Christmas, for example, I spoke to a manufacturing company who see their 2015 mission as about getting proper control of what they call their ‘crown jewel’ documents – documents that contain the ‘secret recipes’ for the most profitable products they offer – but who are simultaneously looking at content management as a platform for their organisation over a long period of time. In terms of crystal ball gazing, I expect to have a lot of similar conversations in the next 12 months.

Well, there you have it – our view on what we expect to see for us as a company in 2015 in the health and wider ECM sectors. Can I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best in this bright New Year!

Drive up Care Through Sharing Information – A Patient Centric Approach To Viewing All Medical Information

By Tony Backhouse, Business Development Manager – Healthcare Division, SynApps Solutions

Last time I talked a bit about the business drivers for NHS IT leaders in terms of bringing together both the structured and unstructured data. I then moved the discussion on to look at how our new Clinical Content Store can (and does) address those issues and help you, as a Trust IT leader, with those challenges.

I want to spend some time talking in a bit more detail about the specifics of the Store and what we are currently offering.

In these past few posts, we have been discussing NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens’ visionary ‘Five Year Forward View’ where he calls for more collaborative, patient-centred care, and access to more and more information to establish a complete picture of a patient’s health.

That’s a movement that’s happening not just at the departmental or even at the hospital-wide level, but beyond it, as different healthcare providers and, soon, social care and other stakeholders including patients themselves, seek to share patient insights to improve care across time and across more than one clinical context.

The SynApps Solutions approach to clinical content management is going to play a key role in addressing that – as it will allow all sorts of healthcare organisations to create a comprehensive, patient-centric view across all current organisational boundaries, irrespective of the content’s format or origin. The aim, at least at national, political level, is to finally get the true EPR happening (sorry but we don’t believe that the mega-suite is the answer to all our EPR prayers) and to becoming a ‘paperless NHS’ (http://digitalchallenge.dh.gov.uk ).

The problem is that this is happening in a time of financial constraint. Indeed, an immediate problem is the end of a lot of old Programme radiology, PACS and EPR contracts. Which means Trusts really have to get on top of what the systems of the future need to be to manage and share the Complete Patient Record.  And to do that they need to take a new approach to the management of all of this information.

So hospitals have to think about what could be the most cost-effective way to migrate back existing imaging data to new platforms while simultaneously ensuring that data remains intact, available and free from vendor lock-in. And as you may know, a popular approach to this challenge has been to consolidate multi-department PACS silos into a vendor neutral archive (VNA), as this offers Trusts an opportunity to consolidate imaging demands into a single repository, using agreed standards to ensure easy data retrieval out again.

The SynApps Clinical Content Storecan do all that, as it has a huge VNA component – but a lot more. A strong claim? Well, how about having a really powerful VNA with the added benefit of market-leading enterprise content management capabilities? What that means is the ability to perform powerful clinical content sharing, storing and management at the top level. That’s to say, not just all the relevant medical images but all the digitised or electronic clinical info too – in one place – which means it immediately enables a fully working EPR. From paper notes to digital images, from hand drawn pictures to Medical Photography, from locked away structured data to video and audio clips.

We are very excited about what CCS means for both SynApps and the market. Please drop us a line so we can continue the discussion.

We are currently offering a free consultative study to scope out the potential of CCS to meet your need, but be aware it is time-limited – so start talking to us today!

Please – take advantage of the seminar [http://www.synapps-solutions.com/events/addressing-the-twin-challenges-of-retiring-applications-while-increasing-access-to-patient-information] on Thursday 29th January at 12.30pm at the London Chamber of Commerce, EC4R 1AR, and find out more about the Clinical Content Store and how it can help you meet your EPR challenge.

 

 

 

SynApps To Host ‘Switching off Legacy Applications The Reality in Practice’ Event on 29 January 2015

Join fellow Healthcare and IT practitioners for this FREE event that offers practical advice and guidance on retiring legacy applications and reducing IT costs. The event will: 

  • Explain how to turn around the 80:20 rule in your favour. 80% of Trusts’ application running costs is for information that doesn’t change and is rarely or never accessed
  • Outline how to retire Legacy and Read-Only applications whilst retaining access to that information at a vastly reduced cost
  • Demonstrably pave the way for ‘next generation’ patient information platforms
  • Practically outline the governance capability for the storage, access & retention of the data across all clinical systems in a simple and easy to manage application

Event Details

  • Time: 12:30 – 17:00Venue: London Chamber of Commerce,
    33 Queen Street,
    London, EC4R 1AP

To find out more and to register, please visit: http://www.synapps-solutions.com/events/addressing-the-twin-challenges-of-retiring-applications-while-increasing-access-to-patient-information

 

 

SynApps To Host ‘Switching off Legacy Applications The Reality in Practice’ Event on 29 January 2015

Join fellow Healthcare and IT practitioners for this FREE event that offers practical advice and guidance on retiring legacy applications and reducing IT costs. The event will:

  • Explain how to turn around the 80:20 rule in your favour. 80% of Trusts’ application running costs is for information that doesn’t change and is rarely or never accessed
  • Outline how to retire Legacy and Read-Only applications whilst retaining access to that information at a vastly reduced cost
  • Demonstrably pave the way for ‘next generation’ patient information platforms
  • Practically outline the governance capability for the storage, access & retention of the data across all clinical systems in a simple and easy to manage application

Event Details

  • Time: 12:30 – 17:00
  • Venue: London Chamber of Commerce,
    33 Queen Street,
    London, EC4R 1AP

To find out more and to register, please visit: http://www.synapps-solutions.com/events/addressing-the-twin-challenges-of-retiring-applications-while-increasing-access-to-patient-information

 

Saving the NHS – Let’s Start with Local Health IT

By Tony Backhouse, Business Development Manager – Healthcare Division, SynApps Solutions

It is perfectly possible to improve and sustain the NHS over the next five years in a way that the public and patients want.

“But to secure the future that we know is possible, the NHS needs to change substantially.”

These are the words of no less a figure than Simon Stevens – head of NHS England, so very much a figure whose ideas on the best ways to take the health service forward we need to listen to.

Stevens made the statement as part of his landmark October ‘Five Year Forward View’ vision for what the NHS has to do to survive.

Note my emphasis. Not ‘would like to do.’ Not ‘is asking the taxpayer nicely for.’

No, Stevens said ‘needs to do’ – in order to survive.

The document lays out many different policy, social, structural and indeed cultural changes that, not just the NHS as an organization, but we as users of it need to start making – from looking after our health better to that long-awaited health and social care integration we have been hearing about for so long finally kicking off.

But Stevens is also famous for being an NHS leader with not just real knowledge of ICT, but a deep conviction of its central place in the revolution he wants to spark in the British healthcare system (“We will invest in new options for our workforce, and raise our game on health technology… unless we reshape care delivery, harness technology, and drive down variations in quality and safety of care, then patients’ changing needs will go unmet” being just two of the many remarks he makes on the topic in the Five Year Forward View).

Well, we’ve all heard similar statements before. Many of you reading this will have some experience with the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), to name the most notorious example of what can happen when ambitious, top-down technology-led change is imposed on the NHS. (The NPfIT was an initiative by the Department of Health in England to move the NHS in England towards a single, centrally-mandated electronic care record for patients and to connect 30,000 GPs to 300 hospitals, providing secure and audited access to these records by authorised health professionals.)

I use the word ‘imposed’ deliberately. Stevens in this document lays out what happened before when Whitehall says what Trusts need to do without taking enough consideration of their specific needs.

But this time, he says, it’s going to be different. Which is where technologies such as those being developed by SynApps Solutions are going to really start helping you.

The Clinical Content Store: a major SynApps development

What do I mean? Stevens, acknowledging the issues that have plagued attempts at getting more tech into the NHS before, makes a very significant statement that I want to draw your attention to: “Nationally we will focus on the key systems that provide the ‘electronic glue’ that enables different parts of the health service to work together. Other systems will be for the local NHS to decide upon and procure.”

In other words, we (NHS England) will put some systems out there for you – but the rest, the ones that you know work and can source and implement the way that makes sense for your hospital, is down to you. How can local IT do this? They need to strip out old IT and use those savings to part fund the right systems that will share information in the right way. Step forward, just such a system –the SynApps Clinical Content Store.

You will be aware that SynApps, working with key partners like EMC, has been building a great system for helping Trusts start to better manage complex, large image files, which they needed to do as the old National Programme central radiology contracts started to wind down. This is our VNA, Vendor Neutral Archive (see, for example, our blogs on here from last year like ‘WHY DOES VNA MATTER – AND HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY IT?’ and ‘‘ROYAL’ APPROVAL FOR A VNA-BASED EPR?’).

The VNA has been doing some fantastic work out there. But we haven’t been sitting on our laurels – far from it. Instead, we have been building out the VNA and adding other functionality to it to create this new CCS, or Clinical Content Store – a place to bring together all kinds of information at the local level to help create a true Electronic Patient Record, from the bones of all the old systems and alongside the new. A place to start building powerful, flexible ways to not just ‘go paperless’ but to, at last, integrate the structured and unstructured digital and non-digital patient data needed.

In the next couple of blogs, I’m going to tell you about the CCS, why it matters, how we see it starting to help organisations just like yours. We will also talk to this important theme of ‘national glue’ provided by NHS IT systems buttressed by flexible, local systems.

I think it’s going to be a fantastic journey. But it’s also hard to think of a more important IT project: one that means you will play a core role in the saving of the NHS.

Are you on board?

Tony joined SynApps in April (http://www.synapps-solutions.com/tag/recruitment) to help further build our success in this sector

We are currently offering a free consultative study to scope out the potential of CCS to meet your need, but be aware it is time-limited – so start talking to us today!

Please – take advantage of the seminar [http://www.synapps-solutions.com/events/addressing-the-twin-challenges-of-retiring-applications-while-increasing-access-to-patient-information] on Thursday 29th January at 12.30pm at the London Chamber of Commerce, EC4R 1AR, and find out more about the Clinical Content Store and how it can help you meet your EPR challenge.