IT news: News round-up

CVD system goes live in Nottingham

AN INTEGRATED imaging and information system for cardiovascular patients has been implemented at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. McKesson's Horizon Cardiology stores all images, reports and waveforms from different devices in one location using a single database. It also integrates with the trust's patient administration system, allowing information to be consistently updated. Mel Bulgin, department leader of the cardiac catheterisation lab at King's Mill Hospital, the first department to go live with the system, said: "It enables us to provide concise procedure reports, which we can copy to GPs while providing information to hospital coding processes to ensure activity is captured appropriately."

St Peter's first to deploy A and E solution

By sending documents electronically we can remove costs and save staff time, which has become a real driver in creating many efficiencies and smoothing out many processes

ASHFORD and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has made history, becoming the first to deploy PCTIs document transfer software for A and E reports. In a link-up between the trust and NHS Surrey, the solution will be used to deliver documents to 69 GP practices within Surrey and a further 31 practices outside the county. The new hub will deal with all inpatient discharge summaries, clinical correspondence and A and E reports to GPs. Dr Paul Kuzmin, a GP in Woking, said his practice is now receiving attendance at A and E and outpatient letters through the hub, adding: "A huge amount of time is saved in not having to scan them in and there is a massive speed advantage in that they arrive the moment they are produced." It is anticipated the trust will send around 190,000 letters over the next 12 months. Laura Ellis-Philip, head of IT at the hospital trust, said the project had made a significant impact on its work to achieve its Quality, Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) targets. She added: "By sending documents electronically we can remove costs and save staff time, which has become a real driver in creating many efficiencies and smoothing out many processes."

New App launched for GP students

The new App provides a great tool for GP registrars to gain confidence for the Applied Knowledge Test examination

AN INNOVATIVE iOS universal App, designed to help trainee GPs taking the MRCGP exam, has been launched this week on iTunes. The tool, designed by HES's sister website, OnMedica, is a unique platform where medical students can answer realistic exam questions categorised under the MRCGP curriculum topics. The App, available to download on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, includes a set of 50 questions with detailed feedback, links to useful references, clinical pictures to illustrate questions, basic analysis enabling a review of progress and performance, and peer-to-peer comparisons. There are currently five packs available, with more coming soon. OnMedica medical editor, Dr Luke Koupparis, said: "The new App provides a great tool for GP registrars to gain confidence for the Applied Knowledge Test examination. The questions are tagged under the current MRCGP curriculum statements, which allow specific areas to be focused on." OnMedica director, Mark Prince, added: "We realise that the way our users are engaging with us online is changing. We are moving away from using our computers and spending more time on our smartphones and tablets. This is our first step to ensuring that OnMedica is a more versatile platform that will continue to serve our members well now and into the future."

PACS conference looks to the future

A CONFERENCE will be held next month to help NHS trusts ensure service continuity when the national Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) programme draws to an end. The British Institute of Radiology will hold the event on 26 September at its headquarters in London, discussing what will happen when national Local Service Provider contracts end between 2012 and 2015. As well as providing a brief history of the initiative, the conference will also discuss the issues of technology refreshment, archiving, and data migration. Speakers include Dewinder Bhachu from provider, McKesson; Chris Bull of CJ Technical Consulting; and Laurence Sutton, national clinical PACS advisor.

UHB check-in solution is rolled out across NHS

INTERACTIVE self-service check-in software developed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has been adopted by 15 other UK trusts. UHB installed 18 check-in kiosks in the outpatients department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital and they are being used to manage the 10,000 outpatients who visit each week. Steve Chilton, the trust's director of IT services, said: "We are delighted that what started out as an in-house project aimed at improving our patient and staff experience is now bringing benefits to hospitals across the country." Dean Grinham, the trust's IT programme delivery manager, added the kiosks are expected to reduce the number of missed appointments, as patients are prompted to update their details.

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