Barts makes start on records integration

Barts makes start on records integration

Hospital trust is early adopter of scheme to link medical records

Hospital trust Barts and the London has installed integration software to connect to the new NHS Care Records Service (CRS) by the end of the year.

CRS will link more than 270 trusts and 30,000 GPs across the UK to national systems supporting appointments, prescriptions and access to medical records.

Barts and the London will be one of the earliest adopters of the service. It is using the InterSystems Ensemble integration platform to make the transition without causing any interruption to its existing systems.

‘We do not have a firm date for complete integration with CRS, but we expect it to be late 2006,’ said Mike Eagles, head of the trust’s software development.

‘Ahead of that we’re using Ensemble to integrate a new radiology information system that is due to go live in April.’

The second phase of the project will be the replacement of Barts and The London’s patient administration system. Ensemble will allow the trust to retain the data repositories in the existing system, design the CRS integration layer, and make the switch without disturbing existing systems.

But Eagles says it will take time for the records service to make a significant difference.

‘We are replacing our core hospital information system, which is a benefit in itself because it is pretty ancient technology that is difficult to maintain,’ he said. ‘Apart from that, the initial implementation of CRS will not bring many advantages. It is largely an enabler for future releases with extra functionality.

‘Two or three years after the first release we will be getting features like online medical assessments, as well as gradually replacing more and more of the paper systems we use.’