Kingston NHS Moves Toward Integrated EPR

March 9th, 2015 – Published today in the story of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which has recently selected a new image management solution partner for better sharing of patient informiton and radiology images.

Kingston is using SynApps Solutions’ Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) for easier and more efficient sharing both within the Trust and other London hospitals.

Read the full story here

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust moves off BT with picture archive system

Kingston_General_Hospital 2Kingston 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. For the full article, please visit the Computer Weekly website:


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 ( 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 [] 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.


Northampton General Hospital Chooses a SynApps Vendor Neutral Archive Content Store

Northampton General Hospital South Entrance_1.0Northampton is the latest English NHS Trust convinced that a Vendor Neutral Archive is an essential route to a full Electronic Patient Record

Maidenhead, UK – 26 November, 2014 – Content management leader SynApps Solutions has today announced that Northampton General Hospitalhas selected its VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) solution to manage the repatriation of its PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) imaging library from National Programme for IT (NPfIT), systems.

SynApps will migrate the Trust’s image archive from the existing National Programme Accenture Agfa PACS platform by early 2015 to the SynApps Vendor Neutral Archive in order to bring the images back under the control of the Trust. This archive will be the long-term archive for the Trust and simplify and de-risk the subsequent move to a new PACS provider.

As the solution incorporates comprehensive XDS Repository/Registry cross-document sharing capabilities, clinicians will in the future be able to easily and safely share Patient Images, MRI and CT Scans etc. as well as other content, such as medical photography and reports with other healthcare organisations not just locally but potentially across the country.

Apart from saving cost and boosting efficiency by the move, the Trust sees the porting in-house of its patient image library as the first step towards using the VNA archive as part of its local, digital EPR (Electronic Patient Record) system. The solution will be the backbone for providing patients with the ability to view their patient record in line with the recently published ‘Five Year Forward View’ NHS England plan that calls for more use of local systems to help achieve a full paperless NHS by 2018.

“Our new SynApps on-site VNA has a zero-footprint viewer, which means clinicians (and ultimately patients) can look at images on any device, including tablets,” comments Christina Malcolmson, Deputy Director of ICT at Northampton.

“At the moment that’s just PACS images – but we will grow it and include other images and documents, so we can have a full EPR over time,” she confirms.

One of the core demands by Christina and her team for any new partner was deep exposure to the complexity of a successful Agfa PACS migration using IOCM protocols – something that SynApps and its partners have a convincing track record in: “Trusts are finding the repatriation of data challenging so it was reassuring for us that SynApps truly understood the technical challenges. SynApps is a good supplier to work with, as it understands both the technology and how to work with the NHS.”

“We are delighted to be helping Northampton General Hospital improve the availability of working with images and improve patient care through our VNA,” notes SynApps Solutions’ Managing Director, Jim Whitelaw.

“The project demonstrates what can be achieved quickly and cost effectively in PACS migration via a VNA approach whilst laying the ground work for a truly integrated patient record.”

About Northampton General Hospital

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust provides general acute services for a population of 380,000 and hyper-acute stroke, vascular and renal services to 684,000 people living throughout whole of Northamptonshire.  The trust is also an accredited cancer centre, providing services to a wider population of 880,000 who live in Northamptonshire and parts of Buckinghamshire. For one highly specialist urological treatment they serve an even wider catchment.

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, or follow the firm on Twitter @Synappssol


PublicNet explores a new perspective on the growing problem of photographic management in the NHS

Hospitals often need to take photographs of patients to record injuries on the progress of specific conditions eg severe rashes, bedsores and so on. Historically these images were taken and maintained by in-house photography teams with their own on-site darkroom, but in the age of the digital camera, such facilities are being wound down.

The problem that we have inadvertently created is growing chaos when it comes to proper management and support of all that imagery.

To read the full article, please visit the PublicNet website:

Is the ward camera the enemy of an information sharing NHS? (Guest Post)

Mark Winstone, Sales and Marketing Director at SynApps Solutions, the content management solutions specialist, discusses how technology is dealing with a growing problem in the NHS: photography management.

Hospitals often need to take photographs of patients to record injuries or the progress of specific conditions, e.g. of injuries, severe rashes, a nasty bed sore and so on. Historically these images were taken and maintained by in-house photography teams with their own-on-site darkroom, but in the age of the digital camera such facilities are being wound down.

To read the full article, please visit Integrated Care Today: