This month’s E-Health Insider industry round covers system deployments, agreements, new products, appointments and other changes at leading healthcare IT suppliers.

Data Transfer Service contract negotiations complete

NHS Connecting for Health has announced that it has completed contract negotiations for the ongoing provision of the Data Transfer Service with BT. Existing contractual arrangements ended in October. CfH says negotiations have focused on “a suitable replacement approach”, details of which will be available “shortly.” The DTS supports NHS workflows such as new patient registrations, pathology reporting between laboratories and GP practices and GP payment processes.

Norfolk and Norwich pioneers speech recognition for mammography screen reading

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has pioneered a new way of undertaking NHS Breast Screening Programme mammography screen reading, using TalkingPoint’s speech recognition. Dr Graham Hurst, a consultant radiologist at the hospital, said it had been looking for a way of eliminating some of the repetitive and tiring bar code reading needed to enter data into the National Breast Screening System. Readers can now use ten simple commands to enter information into the NBSS, without using bar codes, mouse or keyboard actions. TalkingPoint NBSS is being made available to TalkingPoint customers in the UK at no additional charge.

Frimley Park Hospital installs Picis software in surgery and critical care

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is to install Picis’ CareSuite integrated software in its surgical, anaesthesia and critical care areas. Andrew Morris, the trust’s chief executive, said it had seen the system in action at William Osler Centre in Canada, and been convinced that it could deliver “enormous benefits” by automating documentation and care processes, and so reducing transcription errors and making better use of staff, supplies and theatre time.

Dorset works on virtualisation with CSA Waverley

Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is working withCSA Waverley to consolidate and virtualise its server and storage infrastructure. The project will include a more energy efficient data centre and consolidation of the trust’s server estate using HP Blade Server infrastructure and virtualisation. It will also improve business continuity processes. The trust’s head of information technology, Nigel Rodgers, said: “Our biggest constraints to further growth have been space, power and cooling capacity. Consolidation to a virtual infrastructure was identified as the only feasible option.”

Bedford Hospital uses Collaborative Planning

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust has gone live with Collaborative Planning, a budgeting and forecasting system fromCOA Solutions, to improve reporting efficiency and aid service-line reporting. The web-based system, which is being rolled-out to 80 budget holders across the trust, is tightly integrated into its existing eFinancials and eProcurement financial management systems. It enables the creation and real-time monitoring of financial plans and forecasts, eliminating time-consuming manual processes and the consolidation of spreadsheets. Richard Mellor, the trust’s financial controller, said it had eliminated a lot of time consuming manual work and the distribution of reports on paper.

ICS Computing wins payroll contract from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

ICS Computing has been awarded a three year contract for payroll and pension services from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. It will deliver integrated payroll services to the trust’s 3,500 employees, and introduce electronic data capture software to reduce data input errors and increase efficiency. The solution will be compatible with the NHS’s Electronic Staff Record, roll out of which was completed earlier this year. A team of Six Sigma accredited consultants will be on site to implement and manage the solution for the trust, which is set to go live in April 2009.

DH team uses Really Simple CRM

The Department of Health’s care services efficiency team, which advises councils on improving social care, has adopted Really Simple Systems’ hosted customer relationship management software. The team has regional implementation consultants who work remotely. The CRM will make it easier to share knowledge about councils with them, improve communications and allow managers to more effectively track activity. As a hosted application, it can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust tackles outpatient DNAs

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is piloting an automated telephone reminder service to cut did not attends. The trust has DNA rates of up to 6.42% for first outpatient appointments and 8.6% for follow-up appointments. It will introduce an Outpatient Appointment Confirmation Service, run by 360CRM of Irvine, Scotland, to try and cut these to 3.4% and 3% respectively. Patients aged 64 and under will be contacted by automated telephone calls seven days before their appointment and asked to confirm, cancel or re-arrange. Patients over 65 will be contacted by call centre staff.

DocCom boom

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has become the major shareholder in a spin-out company set up to further develop a portal designed to improve communications between trusts, deaneries and junior doctors. DocCom was developed by two junior doctors, Dr Jonathan Bloor and Dr Jonathan Shaw, and uses web, mobile, email and social networking technologies to provide information and communications. The trust has worked with NHS innovations South-West to create the spin-out company. Dr Graham Rich, the trust’s chief executive, said DocCom had “changed and improved” the way it communicated with junior doctors and that it was “an important project that I believe will benefit the wider NHS.” DocCom has already been extended to the Severn Deanery.

TalkingPoint develops new vocabularies

TalkingPoint has announced that it has developed 12 specialist medical vocabularies through an ongoing partnership with Countess of Chester Hospital Foundation Trust. They cover areas such as oncology, obstetrics and gynaecology and infection control and operations.

BMJ Group launches evidence centre

The BMJ Group, which publishes the British Medical Journal, has launched the BMJ Evidence Centre. This will hold news, white papers, care pathways and other evidence based content, point of care tools for professionals and advice materials for patients. The site can be found here.