Tags: electronic health record

Making your Local Health and Care Record initiatives Real in 2019

2019 is going to be a very important year for the NHS, and I wanted to resume our ongoing conversation here with a timely reminder to all NHS leaders that the clock really us ticking on a very crucial piece of work – what you need around your STP work.

As I won’t need to remind you, STPs – Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships – were set up by NHS England back in 2016, split into organisations covering every part of the country.

The idea is to find new local and integrated ways to improve health and care, with NHS organisations and local councils in England being asked to join forces to co-ordinate services around the whole needs of each person.

STPs are very much part of the idea of delivering against some of the key goals of Simon Stevens’ Five Year Forward View vision of a much more sustainable and digital NHS. But they are also very, very local – the stated aim is come up with plans to plans drawn up in your area that will set out practical ways to improve NHS services and population health where you live.

STPs then in turn have led to another great programme, Local and Health Care Records – an attempt to enable the safe and secure sharing of an individual’s health and care information as they move between different parts of the NHS and social care. To make that idea a reality, a number of a number of so-called Local Health and Care Record Exemplars have been set up that have been given special finding partnerships of up to £7.5 million over two years to put in place an electronic shared local health and care record that makes the relevant information about people instantly available to everyone involved in their care and support.

Exemplars were supposed to be 2018 spend drawing up requirements for what a ‘local health and care record’ is supposed to look like. They were meant to be building a Proof of Concept (PoC) against that definition that can then be proven and tested, leading to building of a full solution by the end of the 2019, and rolling out to all members of their STP during the 2020 Financial Year.

But here’s the problem: A lot of organisations really trying to do the right thing here are a bit stuck, as there are no clearly defined requirements

A ready-to-use Local Health and Care Record Demonstrator

We’ve talked to lots of organisations on the ground on both the NHS and the local council side of this who are struggling to find a suitable technology to use to build their PoCs.

This really does prove how far we are from the days of NPfIT, when the plan was that a central system should have been provided to work with. Now, the onus is on the local teams to find their own best fit for this work – and it’s not easy. A big issue seems to be scale… a lot of the systems people have been testing out seem very precarious at connecting multiple back-end systems together in the secure way that NHS England will want.

So we have addressed this head on.  Working with a number of frontline NHS organisations, we at SynApps have built a Local Health and Care Record proof of concept (POC) to demonstrate how this works.

What that means in practical terms is that we have a testbed ready based off our NHS Integrated Digital Care Record system.  It is proven technology and utilises all of the power of our Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) and Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) solution and which you can literally plug in to you and your partners’ systems tomorrow to help you build a convincing PoC.

That also means you will have a system which can support every sort of content a Local Health and Care Record will need – from path lab results to X-ray imagery, NHS Records to GP notes and even your social care records.

So if you are starting 2019 concerned about what you can do to capitalise on the opportunity the Local Health and Care Record programme represents for your area, fear not – we can likely help you.

Get in touch to see what we can do to help you move your Local Health and Care Record ideas off the PPT and into real instantiation in working software.

Chris is Director of all SynApps Solutions’ Sales & Marketing activities

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.


SynApps Announces June Healthcare Event Series

May 23rd, 2016 – SynApps has today announced dates for  its June Healthcare event series.

Working in collaboration with partners Alfresco and Kainos Evolve, the healthcare seminars bring together clinical teams to develop digital maturity and improve patient care and offer an opportunity to discuss how optimising the flow of information and processes within healthcare organisations is vital to achieving this aim.

Supported by NHS England, the events will be led by national programme leads plus CIOs from two of the UK’s most digitally mature Trusts, who wil share learning from successful projects.

Aimed at CIOs, IT Leads, Operations Directors and Commissioners, these free to attend sessions run from 1.30pm to 6pm and will be followed by a Q&A panel, drinks and canapés.


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.


Highly Experienced Healthcare Consultant Appointed to Strengthen SynApps’s Rapid Growth in This Key Vertical

To satisfy market demand, seasoned industry consultant and sales leader Tony Backhouse joins SynApps Solutions to strengthen healthcare team

 Maidenhead, UK – 7th  April, 2014 SynApps Solutions, the content management solutions company, is delighted to announce the appointment of highly experienced public sector technology consultant Tony Backhouse.

In response to increased growth in demand for the firm’s innovative VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) based electronic patient record (EPR) systems in the NHS, SynApps has headhunted Backhouse to join its new healthcare division.

Backhouse, a seasoned professional with a strong track record in both the public and private sector, brings a combination of fifteen years of enterprise-level experience gained working with large organisations, plus leadership on a wide range of major IT-led business transformation programmes – including in the health service.

Along with a series of senior roles for global IT services group Logica, Atos Consulting and Sema Consulting, Backhouse was most recently Head of Healthcare at Enterprise Information Management firm OpenText, responsible for building a new health practice in the UK. Now he is to lend his considerable skills and contacts to SynApps’ rapid expansion into the health market.

This is based on a new approach being offered to Trusts to build a ground-level EPR, which extends proven PACS (X-Ray database) systems as the basis for a new form of patient data platform.  

Major hospital Trusts including The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, Kingston and Liverpool Women’s Hospitals are already committed to the SynApps VNA EPR approach as their route tothe paperless, data-sharing NHS envisaged by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for 2018.

Backhouse says he accepted the SynApps opportunity, as he is an admirer of the firm’s approach and company culture.

“It’s a smart and comprehensive solution promising huge benefits for hospitals and I am convinced it has a great future as the basis for a new form of EPR that will really deliver for the NHS.

“SynApps has an enviable list of customers and an outstanding solution,” he adds.

“The potential of the SynApps solution, combined with a market that has exceptional growth potential, is a truly exciting challenge.”

For Jim Whitelaw, Managing Director of SynApps, “It is our aim to position SynApps as the primary provider of solutions for NHS-wide electronic patient records.”

“Tony’s considerable experience and solid track record in transformational engagements for public sector clients, combined with our own outstanding technology solution, will meet that goal – and help grow SynApps business significantly in this expanding and important market.”

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, SynApps provides consultancy, implementation and support services for EMC 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 us on Twitter @SynAppsSol

More Information

Carina Birt

PR for SynApps Solutions

Tel: +44 1722 322916

E-mail: carina@sarumpr.com

XDS: A Key NHS IT Term You Need To Know For 2014

Last year we spoke a lot about the power our NHS customers had started to get from sharing patient information safely but electronically using Vendor Neutral Archives, or VNAs (e.g. ‘Why Does VNA Matter – And How Do You Identify It?’). The idea is to extend proven electronic content formats from the PACS and large radiography image sharing field toward a possible new basis for the kind of grass roots Electronic Health Record the Health Secretary would like to see a lot more of – as would we all, of course.

As the new year gets properly underway, many NHS managers will already have started taking these powerful ideas forward.

Indeed, we are really excited by the conversations that we see starting to happen here. Many are subject to confidentiality, as I am sure you understand, so I will have to discuss in general terms. But believe me, this is a real debate I’m reporting on – and one which the participants are convinced will deliver real results soon.

Some context first. What we’re seeing in the market is that VNA is becoming a relatively well-understood topic to most Trusts. At the same time, we think NHS managers are also starting to realise that a PACS vendor ‘owning’ their VNA option is not really a solution either: what many are starting to realise is that what they’re after is a content management solution which includes VNA.

This is the conversation we’re seeing in a number of Trusts we’re talking to. It’s a conversation driven by IT realising that if they can put a piece of technology in place that will address both their DICOM challenges/needs and also their non-DICOM data, the clinical notes and documentation they need to worry about, they will have killed two birds with one stone. This is leading many to go to market and look at ways to do VNA and EDM in the same platform.

What’s helping drive this is proven pioneer success, like our ground-breaking engagement with Liverpool plus, Trusts understand the rationale, the basic principles make sense – it’s the practicalities of harnessing the power of VNA that is the discussion now.

But what’s genuinely excited to see is that the debate here is also taking in what I only talked about briefly in 2013: XDS, Cross Document Sharing. You may be aware that we have done some great work with our partner firm Sectra at Kingston Hospital .

Briefly, we are repatriating huge amounts, 19TB in fact, of DICOM data from the Trust’s long-term archive into our Vendor Neural Archive which will be integrated with Sectra. And part of the reason Kingston is doing this is because it is pursuing this long-term vision of VNA and electronic data and content management all living in one unified repository.

Our primary ECM partner EMC has also sold a similar solution to a neighbouring NHS institution, St George’s NHS Trust. As a result, a number of other institutions in South West of London are contacting us – SynApps, Sectra and EMC – to see what we can do to build on this, for their region.

All I can really safely say at this stage about what seems to be emerging from these neighbourly chats is a completely new and effective way of doing NHS information sharing, based on XDS.

There’s some work to do here in addressing technical challenges to do authentication and patient consent – and how you can build on security functionality to help protect patient confidentiality in a way that also makes information available to clinicians.

I think these are problems that will be solved. I also think XDS is going to be a term you will hear more and more about in the course of 2014 – which I think can only be a good thing for anyone who wants to see true Electronic Health Records take off in the UK.

ECM Data Migration (II): How Could We Help Here?

Last time we spoke, I started to talk about the issue we are seeing when organisations want to move to a more modern or fully integrated ECM (enterprise content management) solution but struggle with all the legacy content and variety of data formats they want to preserve, as these form a kind of corporate memory.

There are a number of professional services firms that can help, but what we would say to a customer facing this issue is to look to working with a company like ours that has specific technology and product to help. Let me explain.

For a start, we can quickly help you transform older data into a format which can be displayed in your new system. Typically, that encompasses converting such content into a PDF or an image so you can expect to easily navigate through your preserved content in more of a visual way.

We can also offer you a set of services to take you through the data analysis. In fact, once we have analysed the data, we’d work with you to either develop specific tools to extract the content (if need be we may need to develop some new ones) though in most cases we can usually get around it by using our existing tool set. (This is where our ConXLoader tool comes to the fore; it comes to you with a set of already on-boarded migration services, basically.)

We can then go further into the process of extraction of data, the mapping of that to the target data structure, and any formatting or reformatting of content that is required. Think of a series of iterations where we take bite-size chunks to work out exactly what is the most appropriate process for getting the data out from the source and into the target and then turn those bite-size chunks into slightly larger ‘plates of food’, so that we can take it into a test environment, that will wrap around an application which is developed… I hope you see the process here, and agree it is pretty rigorous and fool-proof.

And it works in real life – with one NHS customer we migrated approximately 100,000 patient records from their existing system into Documentum using ConXLoader, while with a very large well-known retailer we migrated roughly 6 million invoice records out of a proprietary system into a new SAP platform. Plus we are in the process of working with a central government agency with around 5 million records at Impact Level 3 (IL3) to move to a new system too.

To sum up on this crucial ECM issue of well-structured content migration service projects, my experience with customers convinces me there are a number of things we can help you with:

  • Confidence that your legacy data will be preserved (Who likes to lose anything – especially if it is of value?)
  • Enhancing of the data’s value; a great side effect of a good ECM data migration process is enabling you to find information much more easily and readily
  • The process of being able to search and retrieve information
  • Instant access, or instant visualisation – by which I am thinking of the ability to see previews of your information once it has been migrated.

We’d love to talk to you to see if you agree we can do all this for you!

In any case, best of luck with your data migration journey – may it be less hassle than it too often can be.