West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has signed a deal with Carefx for its Fusionfx suite, to provide clinicians with an aggregate view of patient information through a single portal.

Healthcare professionals at the trust’s three hospitals – Watford General, St Alban’s City and Hemel Hempstead – will have streamlined access to various applications.

These will include the trust’s Clinicom patient administration system, its Infoflex clinical information system, and its PACS, order comms and results systems.

Sue Gunn, head of clinical and business applications at the West Hertfordshire, said the trust chose Carefx after identifying that it would be able to continue using their existing system on a real time basis without the need to build an additional layer or data warehouse.

Gunn told EHI TV during a video interview at eHealth Insider Live 2010: “We decided not to implement a large EPR model.

"Funding is one thing, and the resource we had in the trust was another, but we also wanted to make use of the work that we’ve done in the trust.  

"We see the portal as really bringing together the 15 years’ work that I’ve been doing with the clinicians.”

The Fusionfx portal is a standards based, web service orientated workflow portal that can be used to create composite views of data from multiple sources without having to synchronise into a new repository.

Gunn added that although the deal with Carefx would not strictly put the trust outside the National Programme for IT in the NHS, it is not part of its strategy at the moment.

The trust would be due to take iSoft’s Lorenzo system from CSC, the local service provider for the North, Midlands and East of England.  

Sarah Bruce interviews Sue Gunn at EHI Live 2010


“We should have implemented Lorenzo around three years ago but since then we’ve moved on and Lorenzo at the moment would be a retrograde step.

“We’re watching the space to see how they do develop it [Lorenzo]. But we are also looking at how so many systems can be pulled together in the portal.

"[That raises questions such as] do we even need a PAS, or do we need a master patient index? The market is moving so fast that maybe Lorenzo may never be able to catch up to where we want to be.”

The trust will undertake several major IT programmes in the next few months, including the implementation of a new pathology system. However, it says that it hopes to have the system implemented by the end of the financial year of 2010.

“Our board were very keen for us to do this even in these austere times. Unfortunately, many of the other IT projects have had to be put on the backburner but this was a must do for the trust.”

Wayne Parslow, European vice president and general manager for Carefx added: “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with West Herts in their quest for interoperability.

"We are looking forward to helping the trust deliver benefits that this live portal will provide to frontline staff using this new system, and consequently their patients.”

Link: Carefx