One of the largest data migrations in the UK has been successfully undertaken at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as part of a move to a new digital imaging system.

More than 100 terabytes of historical data was transferred by Insignia Medical Systems ahead of the trust’s go-live with the company’s InSight picture and archiving communications system. The PACS went live 10 July, four months after the start of the migration.

The move to Insignia’s PACS will also give the trust the opportunity to share images with neighbouring trusts, support home reporting and merge images from other departments.

Annie Pinfold, PACS radiology information systems senior consultant at the trust, said the deployment had gone smoothly.

“There were no problems as such, just the volume of data was phenomenal at half a billion images. There were a few niggles on the traffic and volume, but nothing major.”

Oxford University Hospitals covers four hospitals, and performs more than 500,000 radiology examinations each year. It has one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK.

Richard Dormer, Insignia managing director, said that the information collection was “pretty rapid”, and that about 99.5% of the data was clean. He added that the “bulk of migration is now complete”, with records dating back to 2004 brought over.

As part of the deployment, Insignia also merged breast screening into the PACS. Other departments lined up to be transferred include cardiac imaging and neuropathology. Pinfold said interest was growing as staff “are beginning to realise it’s such a versatile system”.

The first wave of clinical image and report sharing, regional reporting and regional home reporting is due take place between Oxford, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Berkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Pinfold hopes that Oxford will be sharing with at least two trusts by autumn.

There would also be supporting sharing with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network to enable multisite audit and quality control.  

The advanced home reporting service would enable consultants to access imaging remotely. Dormer, described it as the possibility of getting the “best possible care from the best possible consultant”.  
England rolled out digital imaging to all trusts as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS. The national PACS contracts came to an end from 2013 onwards, but in many trusts have chosen to stick with their NPfIT providers, at least initially.

Insignia, a relatively new company based in Basingstoke, has been particularly successful at persuading trusts to change provider in the south west, where a number of trusts grouped together to buy new systems, with a focus on improving image sharing.