Tags: Alfresco

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals Moving To Digital Care With SynApps

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) has recently introduced digital content management for its medical records, determined to make sharing medical data easier and more practical. The project is based on content management platform from Alfresco, implemented and project managed by SynApps Solutions.

SWBH is a busy, multi-site NHS entity. In the past financial year alone, it handled 199,437 attendances at A&E, 650,000 community contacts and 526,945 out-patient appointments. Clearly, information and its correct routing matter a great deal at SWBH. To put that in context: in the month of January 2017, the Trust moved no fewer than 35,000 individual patient records around teams internally. The problem: those documents were moved by four-wheeled trolleys – not digitally.

For The Trust’s chief informatics officer, Mark Reynolds, the motivation behind the digital content management project is clear – it’s all about  “helping make information sharing a lot smoother”.

It’s early days at SWBH for this new way of working – but Reynolds adds, “In terms of what clinicians do, the benefit is very marked with those 35,000 records move around electronically, not manually, finally.”

Read our full blog on this great SynApps NHS success here

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals Move To EPR And Digital Working




Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) has recently embarked on a significant digital transformation project

The aim in healthcare is for patient care to be provided seamlessly and with continuity across any combination of service providers – from acute and mental health Trusts to community GP practices and pop-up clinics all the way out to caregivers out in the field.

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) is a busy, multi-site organisation. In the past financial year alone, it handled 199,437 attendances at A&E, 650,000 community contacts and 526,945 out-patient appointments. Clearly, information and its correct routing matters a great deal at SWBH. To put that in context: in the month of January 2017 alone, the Trust moved no fewer than 35,000 individual patient records around the institution.

SWBH has recently introduced a digital content management approach to medical records, aiming to make sharing medical data easier and more practical. The approach uses a content management platform from Alfresco, while being implemented and project managed by SynApps Solutions.

The Trust’s chief informatics officer, Mark Reynolds, explains some of the motivation behind the project. “We’re helping make information sharing a lot smoother via a set of changes that will eventually get us to a full EPR (electronic patient record). That’s going to happen in 2018, and it will set us up for the opening of new facilities the year after. However, what we are currently engaged in is a move to an increasingly paperless way of working to help build the foundations for that future.”

The trust is currently digitising the new documents that come through its doors. “This isn’t a project about making all of our archives paperless, but a way to make the Trust more nimble and EPR-ready,” adds Reynolds.

Advantages of this approach include valuable early benefits – freeing up office space on its sites as paper storage starts to become less important. SWBH is also able to redeploy some of its admin staff who would have been tending all that paper.

To achieve this, SWBH decided on a very pragmatic Open Source approach. This brings advantages in terms of commitment – such freeware can be adopted on a zero-cost basis with a view to a bigger commitment when commercially viable. The Trust also wanted to only work with a supplier who had sold into the NHS, and so would understand its issues and not need any hand-holding.

The Alfresco content management system to manage digital content, implemented by SynApps, met those criteria, and SWBH was happy to start the records digitisation project with those partners.

The right decision

It’s early days at SWBH for this new way of working. “Although our case note scanning project was not without its difficulties, we are now at a stable state where digital documents are the norm and not the exception. It’s a good lead-in for our new EPR as staff are becoming more accustomed to digital case notes.”

“In terms of what clinicians do, the benefit is very marked – those 35,000 records move around electronically, not on trolleys, finally.”

In terms of addressing our information archives, Reynolds sees that as a longer-term project that can be progressed in partnership with the Trust’s records supplier. “We decided that the best use of our resources was on the new medical documentation and getting that digitised first – and I think our results show that this was the right approach.”

The author is Chief Informatics Officer at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals (SWBH) NHS Trust

SynApps Solutions To Exhibit At Alfresco Day London 2017

Content management leader invited to be a key participant at major technology partner customer conference   

Maidenhead, UK, 27 November, 2017 – Content management leader SynApps Solutions is delighted to announce it will be exhibiting at a special one-day event hosted by key technology partner Alfresco.

The customer and partner one-day conference, Alfresco Day London 2017, will be held at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington W8 4PT on Thursday, 7th December 2017, 8.30am – 6.30pm.

As its guiding themes, Alfresco Day London 2017 will look at how organisations can deliver a seamless digital experience for their markets and practical guidance on how to leverage the Alfresco platform to get there.

To that end, Alfresco and other participants will explore how delegates can:

  • Regain control of critical business content
  • Strengthen compliance
  • Optimise processes and
  • Gain competitive edge.

Attendees will also hear how Alfresco will work with Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) combining mobile collaboration, capabilities, and ubiquitous file access with the security, control, and policy enforcement that enterprises need.

They will also hear how the supplier plans to integrate Amazon’s Alexa speech recognition front end to integrate content and process, using smart assistant tech to transform interactions.

“As one of the foremost UK suppliers in the UK for the Alfresco ecosystem, we are delighted to be invited to Alfresco Day London 2017,” said SynApps Solutions’ joint Managing Director and Sales & Marketing Director, Mark Winstone.

SynApps will use the opportunity to speak with Alfresco customers about its proven delivery and service expertise for Alfresco ECM, providing organisations a fast path to help users interact with information.

“Alfresco Day London 2017 promises to be an excellent forum to engage in detailed discussion with digital technology pioneers and experts, as well as meet with customers and network with peers in the enterprise content management industry,” he added.

Please join us at SynApps’s stand to find out more.

To secure your free place as an ECM professional at Alfresco Day London 2017, please click here

SynApps Receives Strategic Partner Status With Content Services Giant Alfresco



Maidenhead, UK, 6 September, 2017 – Content management leader SynApps Solutions has received confirmation from key technology partner and content and process services leader Alfresco that it has attained coveted Strategic Partner status.

The certification process is based on a rigorous validation process by Alfresco on the amount of certified resource – at least 20 ACA or ACE level Alfresco certified consultants – an Alfresco partner can offer, plus measured sales and marketing activity and revenue plus customer satisfaction metrics.

The completion to this rigorous set of metrics means UK CEOs can have full confidence in all SynApps project management functions, from pre-sales through to project delivery and transition to support.

An open, modern, secure platform, Alfresco ECM provides a fast path for people to interact with information and for companies to respond to their changing business needs.

“We are honoured to have received this accreditation,” said SynApps Solutions’ Joint CEO, Mark Winstone.

“Our team of solution architects and delivery consultants is very strong and very committed with a drive to get the job done. That means we are the strongest in the UK for Alfresco solutions, with service expertise across strategic consultancy, implementation, content migration, training, hosting and long-term application support.

“This is an important milestone for SynApps to support our growth, underpinning our aim of always exceeding client expectations for delivery.”

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 OpenText Documentum and Alfresco, 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 Collaborates with Alfresco and Enovation to Produce Blueprint for Integrated Digital Care Record

September 6th, 2016 – SynApps is working with NHS Trusts to open up a practical pathway for health and social care stakeholders to share information – the IDCR (Integrated Digital Care Record).

Working with teams at Alfresco and Enovation, SynApps has developed a blueprint that offers a way for many different data owners to securely and efficiently share data, checking it in and out of a rich central repository.

Find out more about SynApps’ IDCR solutions.

Join us on June 22nd/June 23rd – London and Liverpool Healthcare Events

Have you registered for our events yet?  We still have places.  Click on the register link below

London, June 22 – King’s College, Waterloo Campus, London SE1 9NH 

Richard Jefferson, Head of Programme Commissioning at NHS England, will be joined by David Taylor, Programme Lead at Virtual Worlds and Medical Media at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.


Liverpool, June 23 – Maritime Museum, Liverpool L3 4AQ

David Walliker, CIO at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust will be leading this session, highlighting the strategies and solutions that have helped Liverpool Women’s achieve the highest level of digital maturity for both its readiness and infrastructure.


Time To Plug Every Paper-Created Care Pathway Gap








SynApps’s Mark Winstone looks at how NHS CCIOs and CIOs can make a smart move to new ways of paperless working in a crucial part of hospital workflow – Care Pathways

“We are a long way to getting to our paperless targets – but we are still working to remove paper out of our medical records work.”

The quote is from David Walliker, CIO at the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust – and I am sure his is a reality many NHS teams can relate to.

In fact, even as we are moving to a paperless NHS by 2020, many hospitals are still shuffling a lot of paper around. This is happening even though a fair number have adopted leading-edge EPR (electronic patient record) suites that are making a lot of their processes fully digital.

Why is that a problem? There is one serious problem with paper still filling up the hospital –and another that’s absolutely critical. Actually, they are inter-related, as we’ll see.

The first one is simple efficiency. When you start a Care Pathway, such as when a patient comes into A&E, if your staff are having to transcribe details onto paper or on and off terminals, that’s simply time wasted – and time they should be using to help the patient directly.

Don’t let Never Events happen because of the paper chase

The second critical issue is that a complicated, disjointed system that’s paper here and digital there means there are gaps – gaps into which patients can fall. And, tragically, they do, resulting in what NHS England classes as the unforgivable Never Events – “serious incidents that are wholly preventable as guidance or safety recommendations that provide strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers”.

We know of at least one Never Event caused by such a disjointed process: a Trust that has paper at a crucial part of its emergency admissions – and some paper got lost, and a patient ended up with double the dose they should have received.

Minimising the chance of Never Events is one of the principal drivers of the whole move to paperless. But not everyone has an EPR: not all Trusts have turned on all the modules; not all systems have been joined up.

That means there are gaps, often at crucial steps in a Care Pathway, that don’t have any support for a better, more digital way of inputting data and keeping it safely in a central repository. That’s now possible, however, via some great new technology that’s being brought on to the marketplace by our key Enterprise Content Management (ECM) partner Alfresco in the shape of something called Activiti, a functionally rich Business Process Management (BPM) solution.

What Trusts can do is automate some parts of their care Pathways with Activiti, which is a simple but powerful way to build easy to use e-forms that can plug these gaps – and help stop these Never Events ever happening.

‘Significant efficiency gains’

One Trust that’s already finding out just how useful paperless support for Care Pathways is, is Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. Let’s find out a bit more about just how.

One of only two hospitals in the UK dedicated to the care and treatment of women and their families, Liverpool Women’s is also the largest women’s hospital of its kind in Europe. And as part of its commitment to a paperless NHS, the Trust recently made the move to an EPR it thinks will completely transform the delivery of its patient-facing services, enabling better, more informed patient care at the point of care while streamlining working practices between clinical teams. The project will generate significant efficiency gains alongside major operational cost savings for the organisation.

A great way to make sure you don’t miss your RTT target

But interestingly, says CIO David Walliker, management soon realised as the EPR project progressed that the non-clinical workforce could similarly benefit from an enterprise content management solution. “It was time to initiate a more efficient paper-less ‘next generation’ working approach that was better aligned with how business users need to operate today,” he says. “Implementing Alfresco will improve staff access to documents and, in due course, support remote access to our resources by mobile workers and remote workforce personnel.

In specific terms, that’s going to include advances like automated electronic document management processing, task management and powerful workflows that he thinks will maximise workforce performance and internal collaboration capabilities, he predicts.

So what’s his view on Activiti? Very positive. “It’s been very quick to develop and get up and running,” he has recently stated. “We’re replacing our paper forms with e-forms this way, starting with emergency staff.” Team members are very enthused by how easy this way of working is, he says, especially how connection with that back-end EPR means many fields in a Care Pathway can be automatically populated by the system itself.

Efficiency is also helping patients, as better record taking and information inputting has started to cut down the need for pregnant mums to come in, he adds.

So there seems to be real basis for optimism here: Activiti does seem to be a way to build more digital NHS workflows. And it’s worth bearing in mind that when you start a Care Pathway of any kind, the clock starts ticking for your RTT (Referral to Treatment) waiting times – another reason to ensure a streamlined, safe way of Care Pathway building.

We really think there’s value in this approach, and I encourage any NHS IT team to explore how it might help.


Mark is joint Chief Executive and head of all Sales activities at SynApps Solutions

You can see a short video about how Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust is benefiting from Activiti on YouTube here, while a fuller case study can be found online at our partner Alfresco’s site here.

Plus, if you’re interested in finding out more about e-forms and an automated approach to get to paperless Care Pathways, you may want to go to one of these upcoming roadshows. In them, you can hear more about the Activiti technology and about Trust experiences.

The events are supported by NHS England, and are being run in London on June 22 and Liverpool on June 23: please go here for full details, including how to secure your free place if you are a qualified NHS professional.

Hope to see you there!