Choosing solutions that compliment your EPR

It’s becoming increasingly recognised that a one size fits all EPR system cannot be all things to all clinicians. However, choosing best-of-breed solutions for specialist care units that can augment your core EPR can lead to fully optimising specialist pathways, performance and outcomes. These units need systems that can intelligently collect the right data at the right time, at the point of care, and monitor unique KPIs specific to each individual condition.

It’s not feasible to tailor an integrated EPR system to every department’s specific needs in a timely manner because the process is too cumbersome and puts an additional burden on IT resources who usually have a more generic approach across various care environments. Yet if the EPR can’t be customised, clinicians are forced to change their workflow to suit the system and accept a sub optimal one-size fits all approach, putting processes before patients.

In our experience, a better approach is to maximise the benefits of an EPR by complimenting it with fully interoperable best-of-breed clinical data solutions that have been specifically designed to support and enhance workflow in niche and specialist settings and integrate seamlessly with the EPR. There’s a proven cost benefit to implementing systems like Silverlink’s Capture Suite of products: the in-house IT team doesn’t have to develop the system themselves so returns can be seen immediately after implementation; and cost savings are further realised through improved patient care and outcomes as a result of the efficiencies the solutions facilitate.

In addition, Capture Suite solutions offer real-time data insights as well as easy-to-use dashboards and reporting allowing clinicians to react immediately to service pressures. When combined with the ability to source authoritative information directly from the organisations EPR and the ability to similarly update this central master record if appropriate, there’s also a marked reduction in data entry time and duplication of effort. This allows clinicians to use their valuable time to focus on effecting changes and improvements immediately.

Building on your EPR with specialist data capture solutions is a major stride towards paperless working and an evidence-based health service that measures change and impact as by product of carrying out the service. Choosing a Capture Suite product also gives Trusts direct access to Silverlink’s extensive domain experience in delivering solutions for the NHS; and gives care teams the opportunity to engage with Silverlink as they continue to refine solutions for improved patient safety, quality of care and unit efficiency shaping the best-of-breed solutions of the future.

Silverlink’s Capture Suite of products comprises of innovative solutions that were designed in close collaboration with leading experts and clinicians, in-line with NHS best practice, to address the unique requirements of patients and services. The Capture Suite of products includes CaptureStrokeCaptureTIACaptureTherapyCaptureFertiltyCaptureResearch; and CapturePsychiatry. Each solution offers specialist, best-of-breed modules that are perfectly suited for multi-disciplinary use – allowing Trusts the freedom to tailor the solution to their local requirements.

Contact Silverlink today to find out how their solutions can benefit your Trust or healthcare facility in improving patient care and streamlining pathways.

Fertility under the microscope

The combination of lifestyle and life choices – such as starting a family later in life – have steadily increased the cases of fertility treatment across the UK. Approximately 4 in 10 IVF cycles are funded by the NHS costing around £60.4 million every year, however that total is said to increase to £65.2 million should recommendations by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the assessment and treatment of people with fertility problems be implemented.

For many couples desperate to have a child it is difficult to equate the cost of treatment with their probable chance of success but for the NHS, knowing the cost of treatment in relation to the rate of success is essential to adequately allocating limited resources and ultimately, assist as many couples as possible who require treatment.

Criteria for the provision of IVF treatment varies across the UK and since April 2013, are dependent on the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for authorising NHS services. Controversy over the fairness of what has been dubbed “postcode lotteries” to determine eligibility for NHS funded fertility treatment has further highlighted the need for the NHS to effectively manage costs and treatment as audits reveal that only 52% of CCGs offer just one cycle of IVF and fewer than one in five CCGs are paying for the full number of three IVF cycles as recommended by NICE.

For many fertility specialists, the single biggest contributor to cost savings and resource allocation is the ability to accurately predict the success of IVF or ICSI treatment. Currently, a live birth is dependent on numerous factors specific to the couple being treated however, these factors are based on aggregates and averages relevant to a wide range of patients. But what if there was a way to harness individual patient data in a specific structure that could make costly treatments like fertility more effective?

It’s that exact question that Professor of Reproductive Medicine at Newcastle’s International Centre for Life, Alison Murdoch, took to a local clinical software developer as the premise for designing a solution that meets all the necessary requirements. “Regulation in fertility is far more prescribed than other fields due largely to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and while there are resounding benefits to going paperless, it was not our main priority. Our goal was to create an innovative system that could combine HFEA data collection requirements with pertinent patient care information.”

“Currently, there are products available for a combination of clinic management and HFEA data but insufficient in the middle about the patient – and that’s where we saw an opportunity to create a system for this highly specialised field that harnesses individual patient data to more accurately predict, and improve efficiency of  fertility treatment provision,” said Murdoch.

Murdoch went on to explain that one of the major obstacles to realising a complete data solution is the HFEA requirement to keep hard copies of patient records separately from other records – limiting their use of electronic records because the information can’t be merged into one source. “The upside is that there is less chance of losing records but there’s also the logistical problem of storing vast amounts of paper records. Physically managing the volume limits our ability to carry out clinical work in a reactive manner because of the time it takes to locate a file and respond to a patient’s query.”

Another challenge to designing a specialist solution is working within the budget constraints of the NHS but Murdoch maintains that the business case for implementing a complete, custom electronic record continues to grow. Cost savings in relation to admin staff, putting archived records onto CD and improved efficiency are only the initial benefits the Trust is set to realise. In addition to cost savings, there is enormous benefit to the patient and treatment outcomes.

“The sensitivity of treatment is so narrow that even incremental changes in patient and lab data can mean the difference between a successful IVF treatment or not.  By capturing this information, we can interrogate the data in standard reports to garner an individual, reliable indication of success while producing the clinical auditing requirements of regulators,” said Murdoch.

Murdoch and her team have worked with developers to design a data dictionary as the first phase of development. She envisages that the system will be complete in the coming months and will offer the fertility field a much-needed benchmark for bringing pertinent data together to offer patients a better indication of their individual chances of conceiving and allow them to make an educated decision as to whether or not to pursue treatment. Similarly, the NHS will have actionable data with which to determine new criteria for granting funding while limiting treatment for couples who don’t have a reasonable and “data-determined” chance of conceiving.

“The bigger picture is that this project demonstrates the need for innovation in healthcare to provide specialists with specialist tools to make treatments much more efficient and that can be applied to other fields which are equally specialist for the benefit of the NHS and the patient,” concluded Murdoch.

Silverlink awarded ISO27001 accreditation

Silverlink Software Limited are proud to announce that we have been successfully awarded ISO27001 accreditation following a comprehensive review of our information security processes and procedures.

The award recognises the importance placed by Silverlink on information security and governance whilst adhering to industry standard best practice.

The addition to ISO27001 accreditation adds to our existing Cyber Essentials and NHS IG Tool Kit certifications.

The key benefits of ISO27001 to both Silverlink and our customers are:

  • ISO 27001 is the de facto international standard for Information Security Management
  • It demonstrates a clear commitment to good Information Security Management by Silverlink to our customers and other third party stakeholders
  • It provides a framework to ensure the fulfilment of commercial, contractual and legal responsibilities

After overseeing the accreditation process for Silverlink Craig Collingwood stated: “We are thrilled to have gained this accreditation. In a time where reliance upon information is unprecedented and as such the security of information is paramount, compliance to ISO27001 demonstrates, and gives comfort to key stakeholders and customers, that we operate our Business in a secure manner.”

Silverlink supports 2017 Stroke Awareness Campaign

Leading solutions provider to the NHS, Silverlink Software, is supporting the 2017 Stroke Awareness Campaign in collaboration with Mediaplanet UK and The Guardian newspaper.

Launched today, the campaign aims to raise awareness about acute stroke care, new innovations in treatment and prevention, in addition to post-stroke support.

Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the UK and the biggest cause of complex adult disability. Consequently, stroke is costing the country around £9 billion a year.

As part of the Stroke Campaign, Mediaplanet’s Health Awareness website will publish news and information relating to stroke from leading experts and specialists in the field, as well as personal insight stories with the goal of informing and educating everyone about the criticality in acting FAST if you believe someone is having a Stroke.

In parallel a special supplement will be included in The Guardian and provided at the UK Stroke Forum and Northern Ireland Stroke Forum which Silverlink shall be attending to showcase their CaptureStroke solution.

Silverlink’s support for the campaign is in line with their commitment to improving stroke care nationally through their intelligent data collection and care performance monitoring solution for stroke care pathways, CaptureStroke. Developed in collaboration with clinicians, CaptureStroke promotes the concept of collecting data once to be used for many outputs, improving efficiency and freeing up clinicians to spend more time on treating their patients.

CaptureStroke includes patient treatment summaries that reduce data duplication; care overviews showing every patient currently under care, making ward handovers easier; and intuitive real-time dashboards to allow clinicians to gain valuable insights into the care being delivered.

On Silverlink’s involvement in the campaign, Capture Products Manager, Rob Dixon, said: “As an organisation that has deep understanding of NHS processes and requirements we are proud to be involved in such an important campaign that aims to raise awareness about stroke care and support.”

“CaptureStroke has a proven track record of helping stroke units ensure quality data collection to support healthcare teams in caring for patients. Through our support of the campaign, we hope to raise further awareness of the necessity for better stroke care and planning to drive better outcomes for patients,” Rob concluded.

Silverlink partners with ACUBase ahead of new HFEA requirements

Silverlink Software Limited (“Silverlink”), an industry leader in interoperability and data capture solutions, is working in partnership with ACUBase to provide ACUBase users with the next generation CaptureFertility upload mechanism that will ensure fertility services continue to comply with the HFEA’s new data submission requirements.

It is envisaged that the updated HFEA EDI Interface, from CaptureFertility,  is the  first step in providing ACUBase users with a future proof system upgrade, expanding on over 20 years’ of domain expertise in fertility management solutions. CaptureFertility is a next generation solution to clinics looking to leverage clinical and management data simultaneously for improved outcomes. The new HFEA EDI upload mechanism will mean that ACUBase users will be able to comply with the new  HFEA data collection and submission requirements seamlessly ahead of the changes expected later this year.

ACUBase is an integrated management solution for fertility clinics and assisted conception units. ACUBase users have been able to meet submission requirements that are fully compliant with HFEA, however, in the wake of HFEA’s new submission requirements the ACUBase and CaptureFertility teams are collaborating to make available CaptureFertility’s HFEA EDI interface to ACUBase users. The interface will make data submission seamless and enable compliance with the new data regulations.

“I am excited to be working with Silverlink to further enhance their CaptureFertility product which will ultimately provide an upgrade to replace ACUBase as well as contain much additional functionality within a future proof software environment,” said ACUBase system creator, Nick Pulsford.

Silverlink is the fourth largest PAS supplier in the UK and has been delivering solutions to the NHS for over 20 years. The company’s most recent offering, CaptureFertility, is a specialist system that was designed in collaboration with fertility expert Professor Alison Murdoch of the Newcastle Fertility Clinic.

Having recently showcased CaptureFertility at the annual Joint Fertility Conference earlier this year, Silverlink was able to demonstrate how the system streamlines data management to facilitate scientifically-supported treatment decisions, more accurate cost predictions, and helps clinics move towards paperless and mobile operations, as mandated by the NHS.

“ACUBase has a proven track record of helping fertility clinics run efficiently, and working together to incorporate ACUBase functionality into CaptureFertility will result in a best-of-breed solution that is comprehensive, tailored to the fertility speciality, user-friendly and HFEA compatible,” said Capture Product Manager at Silverlink, Rob Dixon.

Silverlink helping to prepare potential future health IT leaders

Today Silverlink’s Capture Products Manager, Rob Dixon, is attending an Apprenticeship Careers Day at Hetton School in County Durham to engage with pupils and school leavers about the value of looking to pursue a career in the health IT industry.

The Apprenticeship Careers Day is part of the Founders4Schools programme in association with the Villiers Park Education Trust – a not-for-profit initiative that connects young people to business leaders with the aim of inspiring skills development.

Hetton School has a good reputation and a long history as its predecessor school opening in 1912. The school prides itself on how it actively guides and supports students with their personal development and well-being.

Hetton School’s Apprenticeship Careers Day is designed to help their students understand how best to apply for apprenticeships, create impressive CVs and be successful during interviews. Throughout the day the students will interact with invited organisation representatives to understand the different industries they represent and the apprenticeships they offer, followed by practical engagement through mock-style job interviews.

As a leader in the development of healthcare software, having worked with the NHS for over 20 years, Silverlink was invited to take part in the Apprenticeship Careers Day to talk to students about the exciting career opportunities available in this highly specialised branch of IT, and how best to prepare for interviews in such a technical field.

On Silverlink’s participation, Rob noted: “It’s a great pleasure to attend Hetton School’s Apprenticeship Careers Day and introduce the students to the exciting and meaningful opportunities that could be available to them within the field of health IT. I’m looking forward to playing a small part in helping them prepare to enter the world of work and the fantastic opportunities the North East IT sector can offer them. I’m sure that by the end of today the students will have a better understanding of what a career in healthcare software development entails and how rewarding it can be to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Northern NHS Trusts share digital lessons for successful launch of major hospital system

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust embraces ethos of NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplar scheme to transfer 20+ year old data to modern patient administration system as part of change programme.

Hospital patients in North Cumbria will be referred more quickly and efficiently to the right treatment and care following a technology partnership that has learnt vital lessons from a neighbouring NHS Trust.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has successfully gone live with a new patient administration system (PAS) which will help more accurately track patients through the care pathway, improve sharing of clinical information, and provide streamlined reporting capabilities. This means that patients should be assigned the right care at the right time using the right pathways.

NHS data migration management experts Stalis partnered with established patient administration systems provider Silverlink to deliver a new IT system at Northumbria NHS Trust, and the same teams have replicated similar success at North Cumbria.

The approach is closely aligned with ethos of NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplar programme which aims for digitally mature NHS Trusts to inspire others to demonstrate the safety and efficiency benefits of technology.

Director of Health Informatics at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Mark Thomas, who worked on both projects, said: “The hospital is going through a big system redesign to change care pathways and improve operational performance. We knew not to underestimate complexity of the project and not to set artificial deadlines.”

The project was completed over a planned two-year timeframe, which saw 500,000 patient records migrated across more than 132 individual patient pathways. The deployment of Silverlink’s referral-based IT system means the Trust can now access a more accurate account of patients through their care pathways at any one time.

One of the main challenges was migrating data from a 20+ year-old system, where referral to treatment (RTT) and 18-week pathways did not previously exist, to a new modern database. Stalis extracted, cleansed, and migrated the data using its CareXML solution to ensure it was accurate and fit for purpose for future patient care.

There was no system downtime between the switchover that saw 60,000 forward appointments in 680 clinics transferred across to the new PAS. 99.6% of the clinics were data built and mapped with the remaining 0.4% records identified prior to, and manually updated on, the go-live weekend.

“Our data is now structured with standard terminology, helping to deliver data quality improvements. We can now report with greater certainly and more quickly identify if a patient is slipping on a pathway,” said Thomas.

Thomas added: “It was vital we had a smooth transition to the new system and that clinical support, along with reporting functionality was maintained. The successful data migration meant no patients or financial rewards were lost due to reporting downtime.”

The project was supported by a proactive staff development programme which saw 1,600 online tutorials and 600 face-to-face training sessions delivered.

“Engagement with clinicians and clerical staff was key as it was important for this not to be seen as back office or IT service. As a result, no more corridor conversations where a consultant asks another consultant if they can pop in and see somebody because they weren’t able to coordinate the work together,” said Thomas.

Stalis’ CareXML data migration service is designed to be highly automated, to minimise user intervention and to reduce the burden on scarce resources. The system offers rules-based identification of data discrepancies and, through access to your originating patient record, enables fully validated data correction.

Managing Director at Stalis, Andrew Meiner,  said: “This project truly reflected a partnership approach to IT adoption, driven by multiple project stakeholders with a shared vision to deliver a system that would benefit staff and their patients.

“Data migration is a complex and at times high-risk activity. However, by taking on board lessons from the previous project at Northumbria, the team at North Cumbria mitigated that risk through high levels of staff engagement and a pragmatic approach to the resource required to safely transfer vital patient information to the new system.”

Silverlink’s PCS PAS will support the Trust’s administration processes and help run operations in a cost effective and compliant way. The Trust selected the solution as it was a highly interoperable platform allowing the Trust to adopt other clinical solutions that work for them.

Managing director at Silverlink, Tim Quainton, added: “Collaborating with Stalis to upgrade North Cumbria’s patient administration system to our proven PAS was quick and seamless. The transfer of decades’ worth of patient records to a new system went off with minimal delay to the Trust’s operations, and staff were given the training and support they needed to hit the ground running.”

Reflecting on the partnership approach, Thomas concluded: “Our partners on this project delivered what they said they would, and on time. The Stalis team were incredibly knowledgeable on NHS data migration and management, and understood what we were trying to achieve from the start. Silverlink provided a modern product with multiple functions and their NHS experience was invaluable.”

The Trust is working towards its vision of being digital at the point of care, supporting the aims of the Five Year Forward View. The next stage of the project will see the integration of electronic clinical pathways from GP referrals to the appropriate care setting, depending on patient need, across the health economy in Cumbria.

Silverlink’s CaptureFertility well-received at Fertility 2017 conference

Silverlink recently showcased how its latest innovative offering, CaptureFertility, can improve the management of fertility clinics and improve patient outcomes at the Fertility 2017 conference.

The tenth annual Fertility Conference, which took place from the 5th to 7th of January at the Edinburgh International Convention Centre, was the largest to date, attracting over 700 delegates from the fertility field. The event was hosted by the Association of Clinical Embryologists in collaboration with the British Fertility Society and the Society for Reproduction & Fertility.

During the event Silverlink demonstrated how its first-of-its-kind fertility solution, which was designed in close collaboration with leading experts and clinicians, can address the unique requirements of fertility patients and services. CaptureFertility is compliant with the latest HFEA regulations and submission requirements and integrates with associated authoritative Trust systems such as a Clinics PAS/EPR, witnessing and imaging systems.

Commenting on Silverlink’s attendance at the conference, Capture Product Manager, Rob Dixon, said: “We were pleased to showcase our latest data capture and management solution to professionals from the fertility field who are looking for innovative technologies to improve patient outcomes and clinic performance simultaneously. We were able to demonstrate how CaptureFertility enables real-time analytics and aggregated data to give clinicians the information they need to best design treatment around individual patients; and give managers the data they need to optimise services. We look forward to rolling out the system more broadly and helping our customers realise an efficient and paperless management system in their fertility clinics.”

To find out more about how CaptureFertility can benefit your fertility clinic, please visit:

Silverlink renews listing on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework

Silverlink Software has successfully renewed their listing on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.

Silverlink was initially accepted onto the framework in May 2016 and over the past year they have been able to supply bespoke services to potential public sector buyers, in particular healthcare providers, on the Digital Marketplace. The Digital Marketplace is a service that allows all public sector organisations, including agencies and arm’s length bodies, to find and buy cloud-based services, specialists who can work on digital projects and physical data centre space.

The Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework is broken down into four separate categories of service: Digital outcomes; Digital specialists; User research studios; and User research participants. Silverlink will continue to supply Digital outcomes – providing teams with resources to build and support a digital service; and Digital specialists – providing individual specialists to work on a service, programme or project.

On Silverlink’s successful application to remain on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, Silverlink Managing Director, Tim Quainton, said: “We are very pleased that Silverlink’s application to remain on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework has been accepted. We look forward to another successful year of offering our technical services to new and existing  customers via the framework.”

Silverlink Software appointed to the NHS LPP Framework

Silverlink Software along with their partner iMDsoft has been appointed to the NHS London Procurement Partnership (LPP) Clinical and Digital Systems (CDIS) Framework as providers of a full EPR system built around Silverlink’s PCS PAS.

LPP is a regional partnership of NHS organisations that aims to make the most of its purchasing power to maximise investment in patient care by combining volumes, collaborating on demand management and improving existing deals to secure greater efficiencies.

The LPP comprises a number of individual frameworks covering: Corporate Services; Estates, Facilities & Professional Services; Medical, Surgical & Supply Chain; Pharmacy; and Technology and Consultancy – under which Lot 1 [EPR] of the CDIS framework falls.

“Being listed on the CDIS framework will make it easier and simpler for public sector healthcare providers to adopt Silverlink’s rich and robust PAS system. PCS PAS has been specifically designed to support the development and implementation of incremental, best-of-breed EPRs,” said Managing Director at Silverlink, Tim Quainton.

“Our proven track-record of building effective relationships, and working in collaboration and successfully integrating with third party systems and solutions makes us a reliable long-term partner for Trusts and organisations like iMDsoft,” continued Quainton.

Silverlink’s market leading Capture solutions have also been individually appointed to Lots 4.5 and 4.7 of the CDIS to offer participating organisations more choice of Patient Support Solutions and Innovation.

Regarding the new appointment, Capture Products Manager, Rob Dixon, said: “Silverlink’s Capture solutions are innovative products that were developed in collaboration with clinicians to provide intelligent data collection and care performance monitoring along the stroke care pathway. We are excited that the Capture solutions have been appointed to the CDIS framework so that public health services and trusts will now be able to more easily procure our high quality solutions to streamline their clinical, paper-less workflows.”