Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has appointed ReStart Consulting to deliver InterSystems’ Ensemble integration engine through a managed service agreement.

The trust wants to achieve full system interoperability with its Cerner Millennium electronic patient record, provided under the National Programme for IT in the NHS, by February 2011.

The trust has an IT team of 18, split across different areas, but decided to outsource the contract to give it access to a greater range of knowledge and expertise.

The deal will see ReStart manage the hardware, software, uptime and disaster recovery by providing remote monitoring tools and a dedicated response team.

Ian Mackenzie, the trust’s director of business intelligence and technology, who implemented an integration engine ten years ago, said: “The cost and hassle of looking after this ourselves is not part of the trust’s core work.

"You would always look to outside experts who can come in and quickly deliver solutions.”

The trust’s original systems integration engine was provided by its local service provider, BT.

It has been used to share patient demographic information between the patient administration system and some specialist systems, such as cardiology and pharmacy.

Implementation of the new engine will allow integration between order communications from radiology and pathology and the PAS.

This will enable clinicians to place orders through the PAS, which will then feed information to the departmental systems, which will feed back to the PAS with results.

ReStart has already completed a hardware upgrade to support the implementation of Ensemble. It has also developed the interface for order communications for testing this month.

Godfrey Milbourn, project manager at the trust, added: “We expect benefits in terms of efficiency and clinical safety.

"Radiology and pathology will receive complete patient and clinical information, in a timely fashion and the results will be returned to Millennium immediately as they become available.”

The trust will continue the deployment across other trust systems over the coming months.

Mike Symers, director of ReStart Consulting said: “This is a fantastic example of trust and supplier working in partnership. The process has been, and still is immensely enjoyable when we all work together to achieve real results, really quickly.”

Links: ReStart Consulting