SynApps Announces the General Availability of its New eReferrals Gateway Solution, Developed in Partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

The native NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) integration, which is already generating significant interest among UK trusts, will allow secondary care providers to digitally disseminate referrals to clinicians with patient records

Hatfield,  UK – September 15th,  2021 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management specialist with a leading presence in UK healthcare, has formally launched its new e-Referrals Gateway solution for NHS Acute hospitals.

Developed in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, the solution allows e-Referrals content to be stored and accessed digitally alongside electronic patient records – addressing the inefficient practice of e-Referrals being printed out and circulated manually within hospitals. Crucially, secondary care providers can connect this to their existing patient administration or clinical systems, whatever the underlying repository – whether Alfresco, Documentum, etc.

The SynApps e-Referrals Gateway, which was tested in a successful proof-of-concept project at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and is set to be rolled out to other UK trusts, bridges a gap in NHS Digital’s electronic referrals initiative. Usually, when e-Referrals come in to Acute hospitals via the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), the content is printed out before being passed to the relevant consultant.

“The NHS e-RS is really just a user interface through which hospitals retrieve electronic referrals,” explains Jason Scholes, CTO and co-founder of SynApps. “Unless this is integrated with everyday hospital systems, the digital benefits stop at the hospital threshold. And, once the content is transferred onto paper, it carries the same risks of the notes going astray, or not being readily accessible, as have traditionally been the case with written or faxed referrals.”

SynApps’ e-Referrals Gateway provides the means for e-Referrals content to be captured and stored alongside electronic patient records, or other existing clinical systems (for instance those holding medical imaging records). The idea is to give clinicians seamless and concurrent access to everything they need, on demand, as part of a broader workflow. Unlike other solutions in the market, it doesn’t ‘screen scape’ the referral notes, but captures them natively using the NHS’s native e-RS application interface (API). This enables richer information to be captured, and supports rapid search.

To optimise the solution, SynApps partnered with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, a valued customer and digital trailblazer. “It was important that we got this right – and what better partner than Sandwell – a visionary Trust and a very knowledgeable customer of ours,” Jason comments.

Sandwell, which has eliminated paper from its sites in recent years and embraced electronic patient records, seized the opportunity to automatically upload referrals to its EPR system, so that consultants can triage them directly and move them to clinics.

Word of the latest SynApps/Sandwell collaboration has already reached neighbouring hospitals, generating a lot of interest, and a major London hospital is among the latest to implement the solution.

Says Liam Kennedy, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, which is co-marketing the e-Referrals Gateway, “We are very ambitious in our vision and are now in the top quartile among NHS Trusts for advanced digital operations. With SynApps’ support we’re storming ahead, and we’re keen to help light the way for others who want to learn more about what we’ve done.”

“We’re excited about the potential of the e-Referrals Gateway,” Jason at SynApps adds. “Existing NHS e-Referrals handling is at odds with Trusts’ paperless strategies. It is also critical that Acute Trusts are able to handle referrals reliably and effectively, with good traceability – so that they get paid for their work and cover their fixed costs. With this new solution, devised with proactive input from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, we’re bridging that gap.”

IT for CEOs and CFOs reports on SynApps getting supplier role in NHS

Carol Baker and IT for CEOs and CTOs have reported on the news that having being chosen to work in Clinical Information Systems; Non-Clinical Information Systems; and Auxiliary ICT Consultancy Services, SynApps Solutions has been awarded a place within the NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) framework.

Read more here.

SynApps Solutions awarded supplier role within North of England NHS Framework

Chosen to work in Clinical Information Systems; Non-Clinical Information Systems; and Auxiliary ICT Consultancy Services

Hatfield,  UK – December 7th,  2020 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management specialist with a strong presence in UK healthcare, has been awarded a place within the NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) framework. This framework has been developed after extensive research into the NHS spend for ICT consultancy services and market research into suppliers providing these services.

The NOE CPC offers access to a range of quality consultancy providers with health industry experience. The framework has been developed with a view to addressing any future technology needs and to meet ad-hoc ICT consultancy requirements.

“The framework provides an easy route to market for experienced ICT consultants such as SynApps. It offers peace of mind to local NHS services who need a consistent, standard method for contracting with suppliers,” says Jason Scholes, CTO, SynApps. “This also acts as an endorsement of SynApps in recognition of the quality of our services.”

SynApps will offer services within Clinical Information Systems; Non-Clinical Information Systems; and Auxiliary ICT Consultancy Services.

SynApps Solutions & Aptvision Win Radiology Information System Contract with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust

The UK-Irish technology partnership beat 7 other suppliers to the project to deliver an integrated digital solution for administering X-rays, CT & MRI scans

Hatfield,  UK – December 1st,  2020 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management specialist with a strong presence in UK healthcare, has won a joint contract with technology partner Aptvision to deliver an integrated digital radiology information system at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

SynApps and Aptvision beat seven other suppliers to the contract which will run for five years. The Trust chose their proposed solution because it was the only 100% web-based offering, allowing its radiology services to be coordinated digitally from anywhere as part of a ‘paperless NHS’.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) operates two main hospital sites – King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, and provides clinics in outer north-east London as well as services at Barking Hospital.

For the last 18 years, its radiology services have been coordinated using an old technology solution that was no longer fit for purpose. “The supplier has ceased support and the system wasn’t being updated, so we had got to a point where it didn’t meet our needs,” explained Steve Twum, who joined as the Trust’s Head of Clinical IT Systems last year. “Our strategy is to go completely paperless, and the incumbent system didn’t allow for this, so it was time to replace it or risk losing the funds that had been set aside.”

BHRUT is a large Trust, and radiology requests and referrals can come from multiple sources. Where these are reliant on paper slips being carried by patients from one department to another, or passed to reception, there is a risk of details going astray and patients failing to proceed with a scan.

The Trust had several non-negotiable requirements. First, it sought a radiology information system (RIS) that was modern and 100% web based. Second, this had to be able to integrate and share data with other clinical systems. Steve’s team was immediately impressed by a solution proposed by Irish medical software provider Aptvision, in partnership with NHS systems integrator SynApps Solutions.

“It’s unusual to find a completely web-based system in the UK currently,” Steve noted. “Most solutions are at best 50-80 per cent web based, but we wanted to be able to provide services for clinicians and patients wherever they are so this was a big tick for SynApps and Aptvision.”

Aptvision’s Unified Health Information System manages radiology appointments completely digitally, resulting in better resource management and fewer missed appointments. (‘No shows’ are thought to account for up to 10 per cent of appointments across public hospitals.) Patients can even use the system’s online web booking form to book their own time and date for scans, for greater convenience.

Designed to integrate seamlessly with other trust systems, Aptvision’s Unified Health Information System offers controls to referring doctors, too. It can prevent overbookings, for example, and allow scan times or appointments to be shortened as appropriate, maximising service capacity. It also supports efficient, effective reporting and accelerates the delivery of scan results.

Because the Aptvision/SynApps proposition is both cloud-based and multi-tenant, no expensive hardware is required; the highest standards of security and software support are applied at source; and usability is high.

It also fulfils the Trust’s ambitions for an integrated electronic patient record (EPR), streamlining the number of clinical systems it maintains. “I am currently supporting 152 applications, and our aim is to get to an EPR – instead of lots of discrete solutions which need to be managed separately,” Steve said. “Improving the patient experience, and patient outcomes, is central to our plans.”

SynApps, which has a strong presence in the NHS for providing integrated information systems, will provide the implementation services. “I wanted the best, and the Aptvision/SynApps proposition offered us that,” Steve said. “The running costs are very reasonable and within budget, based on the modules we’ve chosen, and the quality and modern feel of the system is exactly what I wanted.”

The Trust hopes the solution will be up and running by the end of March 2021, when the incumbent system is due to be renewed.

Commenting on the project win, Jason Scholes, CTO and co-founder of SynApps Solutions, said, “We are delighted to have won another prestigious NHS contract, as Trusts look to digitise more of their processes and eliminate paper, and we look forward to working with Steve and his team to realise their ambitions. Aptvision is a trailblazer in its field, and we are very excited at the potential of this partnership.”

New Survey Reveals Impact of New Normal on Public Sector Information Management

Covid-19 puts smart workforce collaboration, records integration, and data processing at the heart of public service

  • 18% of respondents log into 20 or more systems daily
  • 26% say their information search facility is ‘not at all intuitive’
  • 35% feel they ‘lack the right tools to find information efficiently’

Hatfield, UK – July 23rd , 2020 – SynApps Solutions, the enterprise content management and process automation specialist has today published the results of its latest survey which explores public sector information management processes, highlighting their significance in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The survey found that public sector workers are widely using unconnected, legacy information systems and some are even using paper-based systems in parts of their operations, making flexible, remote working a stretch goal for many organisations. As the public sector transitions to delivering services in a ‘new normal’ that will almost certainly feature an increase in smarter working, the survey shows organisations must enable easy access to critical information wherever employees happen to be working.

“In a data-led public sector, the speed and efficiency with which employees can access information is absolutely critical to performance and quality of service,” explains James Paton, CEO of SynApps Solutions. “Almost three quarters of those who responded (73%), cited the use of multiple systems across their organisation as the single biggest reason they found it difficult to access information.”  James continued, “In fact, 38% of respondents said they had log into 16 or more information systems in the course of a working day which contributes hugely to service delays and performance issues.”

Moreover, the research suggests that an employee making 16 searches per day, taking five minutes each time, will spend 6.6 hours each week waiting for search results to be returned – or more if those searches are spread across multiple systems. Respondents also reported that quality of the application interfaces they are using is a factor in how easily and thoroughly they can search. 26% say their information search facility is ‘not at all intuitive’, while 35% feel they ‘lack the right tools to find information efficiently’.

Perhaps the most surprising fact to emerge from the survey results is the fact that 60% of respondents rely on paper records to some extent. Encouragingly, however, 71% of respondents said they convert paper records into digital files, for example by scanning or using OCR technology.

“An Enterprise Content Management solution that automates document management and streamlines information retrieval from a structured repository brings enormous cost and efficiency benefits,” adds Paton. “As workplaces become more dynamic and adaptive, the need for digital operations supporting collaboration at distance becomes more and more important. In the same way, platforms that aggregate quickly and efficiently wherever it’s required are a prerequisite for effective business process management.”

The new report, Information in Transition: Smarter Working in the new Normal is available for download from here