The Bedford Hospital NHS Trust (Bedford) serves a population of approximately 270,000 across Bedfordshire and surrounding areas (with a 900,000 catchment for vascular services). Its core local authority populations are Bedford Borough (160,000) and Central Bedfordshire (260,000). The Trust has over 2500 members of staff and is the largest local employer in Bedford. It has a current turnover of approximately £180m. Its main commissioner is Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The hospital has a dedicated Cancer Centre, the Primrose unit. Bedford has approximately 360 beds and provides a full range of Acute services, with beds for Care of the Elderly, ENT, General Medicine, AAU, General Surgery, Gynaecology, Neonatal, Obstetrics, Oncology, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Vascular Surgery, Breast Surgery and Urology.
In September 2017 the Bedford Hospital NHS Trust and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Trust announced their intention to merge their organisations; keeping their separate services and facilities, creating a combined workforce of approximately 8,000 members.
The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Trust was awarded Exemplar status by NHS England in 2016 and under CCIO Sanjeev Taneja is focusing on digital transformation, and specifically on Interoperability. Bedford
has already started on this journey towards enhanced digital maturity with Viper360 from ReStart Consulting Ltd.
Like most NHS Acute trusts, Bedford has a wide range of clinical and administrative systems in use across the organisation which are not integrated. This meant hospital staff needed to re-enter the same information in multiple places, creating potential for error and omission. Patients and their carers also had the frustration of having to repeat the same information multiple times to different health professionals throughout their care journey.
John Bain, Associate Director IM&T said, “Bedford had endured the inefficiencies of multiple separate systems in operation for long enough. In a highly pressured care environment it is important to eliminate sources of patient and staff frustration and to reduce the potential for increased clinical risk.”
The ReStart Solution
The Viper360 Interoperability platform was selected following a tender process. It is a highly scalable solution which Bedford has requested be rolled out in several stages. Prompt access to new functionality is assured through a phased delivery approach with training taking place at each stage of the services expansion. Viper360 provides clinicians and administrative teams with access to realtime patient information. Single-Sign-On functionality eliminates the need for clinicians to log into and interrogate multiple systems to obtain an accurate and up-to-date view of their patients.
Viper360’s first phase roll-out at Bedford was to its clinical administrative team to give them access to Viper360 to view patient Radiology and Pathology reports and clinical documents through a user-friendly interface. The next phase of the project planned for delivery in November includes Single Sign on Functionality, Interoperability with PACS and Extramed systems, and visibility of Cancer data and Cardiology reports.
Luton and Dunstable CCIO Sanjeev Tajeda, in his Feb 2017 interview with Digital Health*, referred to the PACS system as the most under-rated digital innovation – eliminating the need for the logistical nightmare of hardcopy image transfer between departments. Viper360 will further extend the CCIO’s view through extended PACS across the organisation.
The Next Steps
In September 2017 Bedford Hospital NHS Trust confirmed the successful first phase deployment of the Viper360 Interoperability Platform. Viper360 is now in active use by clinicians and administrative staff. By the end of November 2017, 5 months after initial go live, it is anticipated over 100 users will be logging in and accessing multiple systems via the Single Sign-On viewing platform on a regular basis.
John Bain, Associate Director IM&T said, “With a relatively small investment we chose to adopt Viper360 as the platform to increase our quality of care, operational efficiency, AND improve patient experience at the same time.”
Mike Symers, Managing Director at ReStart said, “ReStart has developed Viper360 in response to NHS Trust requirements. It is an Interoperability Platform that can be deployed quickly. Viper360 is also scalable allowing further functionality to be built in as time, budgets and organisational capacity permit. And, very importantly, it is priced to enable even the most cash-strapped Trust to achieve their aspirations for organisational digital transformation.”