NHS Scotland has awarded a contract to InterSystems for a national licence to use its Ensemble product for e-health integration across the Scottish health service.

The new contract win follows InterSystems being picked in January to provide its TrakCare product, for the Scottish Patient Management System (PMS) to provide a common patient record system across Scotland.

InterSystems Ensemble product will be used in conjunction with the firm’s TrakCare electronic record product for healthcare integration and the development of connected applications.

The use of a common integration platform should significantly enhance the secure flow of clinical and non-clinical information to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes.

Already in use in Lothian, TrakCare will form the basis for PMS and initially be implemented within five of Scotland’s 14 health boards, with the option open to the remaining health boards to take Trak at a later date. Glasgow and Lothian health boards between them account for 70% of Scotland’s population.

The new Ensemble deal forms part of the same £100m framework contract created for the PMS deal, awarded by NHS National Services Scotland in January. NHS Scotland is buying a series of services from the PMS framework contract.

The use of Ensemble as a Scotland-wide integration platform should enable efficient standardisation and re-use of components. The platform will also be vital for integrating existing applications and building on prior IT investments.

InterSystems will provide training as part of the deal to enable NHS Scotland to carry out its own implementations of Ensemble.

Ensemble is already widely in use in the English NHS, where Computer Sciences Corporation uses the platform for all back end trust integration into its data centre.

InterSystems director, Mike Fuller told EHI “Scotland has a clear view of how they will deliver integrated care by connecting TrakCare and primary care systems through an integration layer and then providing a clinical portal on top.”

Robin Wright, chair of the eHealth Leads Group said: “This incremental programme will help Scottish hospitals move towards their vision of a paper-less working environment, streamline patient services, bring about faster diagnosis and treatment and aid the development of a virtual electronic health record.”

“The time is right to promote the use of a common integration platform, and Ensemble is well placed to fulfil that role,” says Eddie Turnbull, head of architecture and design for the eHealth Programme.

Turnball added: “Ensemble will be at the heart of the patient management system, and we can build on that to deliver other objectives such as a clinical portal. Integration is key to the service oriented architecture approach that is core to our eHealth architecture vision.”

Paul Grabscheid, VP strategic planning, InterSystems, said: “We are delighted that Scotland has chosen Ensemble for this pivotal role in their national eHealth strategy. It provides an opportunity to leverage existing systems and prior NHS investments to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare throughout Scotland.”