The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is using InterSystems‘ Ensemble integration engine to join up its IT systems and enhance its business intelligence and reporting functionality.

The trust previously relied on point-to-point interfaces for its integration projects and did not have a back up or test platform. This meant it was difficult to test new platforms and the trust relied on the support of third parties.

Justin Griffiths, head of IM&T at the trust, told eHealth Insider: “What we had were point to point interfaces which brought information from system to system but [were] only uni-directional.

"We decided we needed something that would allow data to move more easily from system to system and in a bi-directional way.”

The trust said it looked at various options and decided to go with the package provided by its local service provider, CSC. It selected Ensemble as its standard trust integration engine in 2008.

The Walton Centre went live over a five day period last summer and has since replaced most of its existing interfaces including radiology, pathology and several theatre modules.

It is now looking at how it can get the best out of the system by producing ‘live’ reports on finance, divisional activity, patient stays and quality controls.

Griffiths added: “Now that we have replaced the legacy systems, and the coding around that has been done, we’re looking at how data is moving around the system and asking those involved how they want the business intelligence to work for them.”

The trust’s PAS has always produced a drop feed of data that users can query, but that data was always 24 hours old. The new set-up produces real-time data that is also of higher quality.

“Really the business intelligence and reporting benefit is a bi-product of the implementation, but we’ll be able to slice and dice information to support people in their everyday jobs," Griffiths said. 

"At this stage, we’re saying to them ‘ignoring the technology, what do you want on your desktop to do your job?’

“Part of the information revolution in the NHS is about giving enough information to patients and clinicians to improve the day to day."