ILOG has announced that Syntegra, the consulting and systems integration arm of British Telecom, has selected ILOG JRules, a Business Rule Management System product, to meet record handling standards mandated for the NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) component of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

In December 2003 BT Syntegra was awarded £620m, 10-year contract to act as the national application service provider (NASP) for the data spine.  The contract covers design, delivery and management of the national patient record database and transactional messaging capabilities to be covered by NHS CRS, also known as ‘data spine’. 

ILOG JRules will be used to support data validation, regulatory compliance and exception identification, ensuring better collaboration, consistency and decision support as part of the new NHS CRS.  The nine-year agreement between ILOG and Syntegra is worth £1.3 million pounds.

ILOG says that its Business Rules Management System products enables the effective management of the complex, dynamic rules that can run into the thousands for just a single discrete business process, maximizing business agility.  Customers already using JRules include eBay and governments worldwide. 

BT Syntegra has already awarded a series of contracts for the delivery of NHS CRS including a contract to LogicaCMG, expected to be worth in excess of £100 million; together with a contract with Sun Microsystems, which will provide the software, primarily its Java system, services, computer systems and storage systems.  Other firms working with BT on the ‘data spine’ include Oracle and Mastek.

Forming the central component of NPfIT, the NHS CRS initiative will maintain lifelong electronic health records for 50 million patients, linking 30,000 doctors and 270 health care providers across England.

The first phase of NHS CRS is scheduled to go live in June 2004, providing clinicians with basic functionality, including the ability to view and communicate an initial set of patient information and book out-patient appointments.

Phase two is due to follow in 2005, is meant to provide access to more detailed patient records and allow electronic referrals, requests and orders.  Phase three, due between 2006-2008, is meant to enable an increased level of integration and seamless care, with full integration scheduled to be achieved by December 2010.