The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has chosen BridgeHead Software, the Healthcare Storage Virtualization™ company, to provide healthcare data and storage management solutions as it implements plans around improving operational efficiency, cost savings and patient care.
The deployment of BridgeHead Software’s solutions will enable the trust to create an environment that optimises the storage, management and protection of Rotherham’s clinical and administrative data.
“At Rotherham, we have several key IT initiatives in place to drive innovation through technology to create an infrastructure that helps us improve the delivery of patient care. These initiatives include the incorporation of best of breed technologies that will help create operational efficiencies, save cost, deliver ROI, whilst providing a robust, future-proof strategy for our organisation. To achieve this in the ambitious timescales we have set for ourselves, we have found it necessary to work outside of the national programme to find vendors that clearly match our requirements,” comments David Brown, Head of ICT at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Brown continues: “Clearly for us and other trusts, data protection, security, management and storage is absolutely critical to underpin our wider IT initiatives. This is why our relationship with BridgeHead Software has become so important. BridgeHead specialises only in the healthcare market, so they are well placed to understand our data, our hospital environment and our industry; and we’re delighted with their progress to date. Over the course of this project, we have been really impressed by the wide range of solutions they offer in backup, disaster recovery and archiving, for both clinical and administrative data. Their knowledge of healthcare and the fact that we have easy access to their key personnel, from senior management through to product support, makes them a hugely valuable partner – plus, as their products are vendor agnostic, integration with existing systems is not an issue.”
The original contract was awarded to BridgeHead Software in October 2009 as support for the implementation of the trust’s new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system using MEDITECH’s software – the deployment of which was part of Rotherham’s strategic decision to opt for alternative solutions outside the National Programme for IT (NPfIT). Looking beyond the national programme has also enabled the trust to explore other best of breed solutions to suit their IT requirements. Consequently, Rotherham chose BridgeHead Software for its data and storage management requirements. BridgeHead was selected based on its longstanding relationship with MEDITECH, as well as being noted for helping healthcare organisations to move to a digitised patient record environment, one of Rotherham’s key objectives.
The initial project with BridgeHead Software was to provide the trust with its HT Backup® product, for backup and disaster recovery, supporting the management and storage of increased levels of data generated by the EPR. However, it soon became clear to Rotherham that BridgeHead Software could help them in other areas of the enterprise resulting in the adoption of BridgeHead’s FileStore EHR™
and MailStore™ products. The decision to implement BridgeHead solutions has been part of a drive by the trust towards consolidating its storage infrastructure and a reflection of its forward thinking approach to developing new ways of working through the use of innovative technology. As BridgeHead Software’s solutions are vendor agnostic, with the ability to integrate with existing systems, this has helped the company to become the strategic partner of choice for all of the trust’s mission critical data and storage management requirements.
The second phase of the project involved the deployment of FileStore EHR which has enabled the trust to fulfil its data recovery obligations as well as ensure records are indexed, de-duplicated and encrypted so they are in keeping with data protection and privacy regulations. Part of Rotherham’s vision was to create a paperless hospital environment. The BridgeHead systems help take away the problem for healthcare professionals of how to efficiently manage and control the proliferation of data that will accompany the switch from paper-based to digitised records. FileStore EHR ensures records are optimised (e.g. through compression, de-duplication etc.), indexed, and made fully searchable before being stored so that data can be accessed by hospital staff efficiently and cost effectively.
Phase two has also included the implementation of MailStore which has enabled the trust to manage and archive email content for over 1,500 of its Microsoft Exchange users so that computer systems can run faster whilst dramatically freeing up storage space and reducing storage costs. Critically, the deployment of MailStore will also free up staff time away from managing email so they can focus their efforts on patient care.
Currently BridgeHead is working on the third phase of the project which includes the deployment of its solutions to further support the management and protection of data specifically around clinical services as well as the rollout of MailStore to an additional 2,000 users. MailStore will also help the trust manage its planned upgrade from Exchange 2003 to 2010.
“At Rotherham, our mission is to act as a spearhead to prove that technology can work and deliver benefits, both for the hospital and more importantly for the improvement in the delivery of patient care. This is why we are committed to developing a consolidated infrastructure with future-proof solutions – strategic partners such as BridgeHead Software have become key to achieving that objective,” added Brown.
Also commenting, Tony Cotterill (pictured), CEO BridgeHead Software stated: “It’s a privilege to be working with a pioneering healthcare organisation such as The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. Moving patient records to electronic storage, the trust has embraced the importance of building a stronger healthcare data foundation to support their infrastructure.”
“Providing electronic patient records is, ultimately, about improving patient care, efficiently and cost effectively,” Cotterill further adds. “But unless you have robust and flexible solutions to manage the underlying data, hospitals run the risk of developing an application strategy that appears sound on the surface, but will eventually be compromised by ever expanding storage sub-systems. This is why we have developed our software – to specifically support the need for managing digital healthcare information. It’s all about optimising the data, securing it from unauthorised access, protecting it in the event of system outages or disasters, and making sure the right information can be delivered to the right healthcare professionals, at the right time, at the right location.”
“There is a lot of pressure on trusts to deliver £20 billion efficiency savings by 2014. It’s clear from the projects we are working with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust that solutions, like ours, will play a significant role in helping hospitals achieve these ambitious targets.” concludes Cotterill.
Much of the work to integrate BridgeHead’s HT Backup®, FileStore EHR™ and MailStore™ services has already been undertaken and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is aiming to have all work completed by the end of the year.