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Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is planning to revolutionise access to patient records with a system that enables medics to view them via the hospital’s beside interactive system.

Quest Software and ANS Group have delivered a virtual desktop, which will serve up to 2,000 named users. The desktop will allow clinicians to access and update patient records at the bedside in real-time.

The trust is rolling out a bespoke bedside interactive system, supported by its charity, the Children’s Hospital Charity. The terminals will be used by its patients for entertainment, while taking on their new function. They also provide educational facilities for teachers.

Russell Bank, head of IT, told E-Health Insider: “We knew this was an area we wanted to develop a long time ago, so we waited and didn’t go with the national guidance on Patientline.

“We now have two devices made-up. At the end of March, ANS are helping us set-up the software in our intensive care unit. This seemed like a prime place to start, with fewer children needing their entertainment systems and doctors being able to get important information, such as x-rays, instantly up on the screen.”

The solution that has been developed allows a Microsoft Windows service to run inside a virtual machine. The interactive systems communicate with a virtualised data centre via a web interface. This gives medics access to the virtual infrastructure and patient records.

Staff no longer have to rely on the PCs in the ward, allowing records to be updated faster, and increasing the amount of space at the nurses stations.

To use the virtual desktop, medical staff insert NHS Connecting for Health smartcards and a unique pass-code. The smartiD authentication, provided by ANS Group, ensures that the desktop is only available when the smartcard is inserted. No data is left on the terminal when the smartcard is removed.

Bank added: “We already have the terminals and the smartcards and will eventually have all 144 virtual desktops running. We’re just struggling to find the time to set-up them up at the moment.”

Joe Baguley, chief technology officer, Europe, for Quest Software said: “Enabling medical and nursing staff to instantly update patient records in real time enhances patient confidence in the NHS, allowing patients to see for themselves the attention and hard work clinical staff put in to ensure patients get the best treatment possible.”


ANS Group

Quest Software