Two trusts in the South West of England, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, have not migrated all their data to their new radiology information system, three months after the 30 June deadline for doing so.
Both trusts have implemented a new RIS from Carestream, replacing their previous HSS RIS, which was acquired under the National Programme for IT.
In common with most other English trusts outside London, the RIS contract expired at the end of June. Although the Carestream RIS is now being used, the trusts are still using a lookup version of the legacy HSS system to access old patient data.
Last week, EHI reported that four trusts in Kent are also continuing to use a lookup version of the HSS RIS.
A spokesperson for Yeovil said: “Due to the aggressive timescales imposed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, historical RIS data migration continues in parallel with live use of Carestream RIS.
In order to reduce the risk, the trust has access to a viewer to validate historical data already migrated to Carestream RIS and to refer to data that is awaiting migration.” Taunton and Somerset issued a similar response.
Charlie McCaffrey, Carestream’s managing director, also blamed the 30 June deadline for the delay.
“You will be only too aware of the aggressive timescales we and other suppliers and our customers had to face with the ending of the NHS Connecting for Health programme,” he said.
“The Carestream RIS and PACS at Taunton and Somerset and at Yeovil was implemented and went live on time before the end of the CfH programme.
“The data migration to the new Carestream RIS continues to run in parallel with live clinical use of the RIS at both sites.
“The trusts are able to access the migrated prior data on the new Carestream RIS, and the ‘still to be migrated’ data via a viewer. When migration is fully completed, the requirement for the viewer will be eliminated.”
In an earlier interview with EHI, Malcolm Senior, IT director at Taunton and Somerset, said it had faced issues with data migration because the Carestream RIS and the HSS RIS handled the unique patient identifier differently.
Asked to comment about the patient safety implications of using two databases in parallel, both Taunton and Somerset and Yeovil responded that they had a commercial agreement in place with HSS, and that there were therefore no risks.
Chris Yeowart, director of strategic business development at Wellbeing Software Group, which supplies the HSS RIS, said: “The use of the look-up system mitigates patient safety issues to a large extent, which would be apparent if they didn’t have it.
“Arguably, however, there is still a risk in looking up one patient on one system and adding details of the new episode to another.
“The trusts will have to be particularly careful when it comes to amalgamating the historic records that are still being migrated with the new records that have been created in the new system."
A spokesperson for HSCIC commented: “Whilst the 78 trusts who previously received PACS and RIS systems from CSC via the national PACS contract have taken responsibility for the procurement and implementation of replacement systems, the HSCIC and, prior to its inception, NHS Connecting for Health, was engaged with trusts for the two years running up to contract expiry in order to support them through this process.
“The vast majority of these implementations have progressed smoothly although we are aware of two areas/suppliers that have encountered challenges with RIS data migration.”