City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is piloting a vendor neutral archive solution provided by BridgeHead Software and Dell.

The trust is part of a pan-European pilot that is exploring the interoperability of BridgeHead’s VNA system on Dell’s storage platform.

The City Hospitals Sunderland pilot has initially focused on archiving the trust’s ophthalmic imaging system, with the data then being made available to clinicians on any device at the point of patient care.

Andy Hart, director of IT at the trust said: “It is vital that the information we have on patients is stored, correlated and made accessible for our clinicians.

“[The pilot] has allowed our staff to spend more time with patients and on patient care. This is a clear example of how IT can support the day-to-day running of a hospital.”

Chairman of BridgeHead, Tony Cotterill, told eHealth Insider that the pilot is in the process of being finalised and the eventual aim is to bring patient data from different imaging technologies into a single unified repository.

BridgeHead started working with City Hospitals Sunderland in 2009, implementing its healthcare data management system.

This has been deployed for scanning and archiving and integrated backup and disaster recovery, supporting the trust’s Meditech healthcare information system.

“We are delighted that Sunderland recognises us as one of their main three vendors, alongside Dell for infrastructure and Meditech for strategic healthcare data.

“But the strength of our system is that we are not specific to any hardware and we can provide an integrated solution for any trust,” said Cotterill.

BridgeHead’s VNA differs from many others as it manages both clinical and administrative data – making it the only Dell partner to do this. The two companies are currently involved in several pilots at a number of other European hospitals.

Jim Beagle, chief executive of BridgeHead Software, said: “Some of the participating hospitals piloting the solution, having recognised the value it brings to their organisations and have since broadened the remit of the programme into managing data from other departments.”