The demands of the modern NHS highlights the importance of cost effective, efficient and secure IT practices in the pursuit of improved patient outcomes. A Patient Administration System (PAS) that is robust, easy to deploy and comprehensive in its functionality is crucial to helping Trusts operate optimally while staying within budget. Trusts looking at reviewing their PAS systems, which are central to their IT strategy, should consider how they can best service the individual needs of their clinicians while protecting their current infrastructure investments.
In this day and age, a well-structured PAS system is vital to the running of an efficient NHS service. An effective system not only provides the practical tools for managing patient data but delivers analytical and business intelligence, which empowers the Trust to tailor and improve processes to positively enhance the patient outcomes and experiences.
“The implication of achieving a high level of interoperability is that Trusts are not required to contemplate a complete overhaul of their IT systems”
A Focus on Interoperability
Over the years, a Trust typically invests a lot of time and money in IT. Focussing on interoperability enables Trusts to protect these investments by allowing them to retain existing IT infrastructure and systems, and concentrate on adding new functionality according to their specific requirements. The implication of achieving a high level of interoperability is that Trusts are not required to contemplate a complete overhaul of their IT systems.
This benefit was a key reason behind the decision by The Walton Centre, a leading specialist neurosciences Trust, to implement Silverlink PCS. Their core requirement was for a more comprehensive PAS that would allow them the freedom to choose the clinical applications that best support their neurosciences speciality.
Silverlink PCS PAS solution provides the bedrock of any best-of-breed IM&T strategy, allowing the Trust a true choice in the range of clinical solutions from other specialist suppliers, with a trusted and reliable PAS solution at its core. With interoperability ensured, the IT team was able to build and connect both custom and off-the-shelf systems to the Trust’s IT environment at their own pace and in the order they chose, creating the optimal support for the Trust’s specialist and evolving needs.
The Trust first started using Silverlink’s PCS through a third-party contract. However, due to their satisfaction with the performance of the system and the quality of the support provided by Silverlink, they decided to renew the contract directly with Silverlink. According to The Walton Centre’s EPR and Data Quality Manager, Valarie Hayden, “the Trust identified Silverlink’s solution as a system that could help clinicians get critical information on a timely basis.”
Best-of-breed, and Compliant with NHS Practices
Silverlink’s experience and expertise in developing best-of-breed software has made them frontrunners in the field of interoperability for the NHS. As with all Silverlink products, PCS is designed to be highly compliant with NHS practice and provides support to the whole administrative cycle. Ultimately, the objective is to put the Trust in control of the speed and extent of its IT development.
When South Tyneside NHS Trust’s previous PAS was deemed inadequate for its purposes, they evaluated the market for a system that could offer an efficient user experience and support a range of different clinical specialities. In making their choice, the Trust decided on a strategy which placed a premium on a low risk deployment, cost effectiveness, and minimal time and effort requirements.
“It’s the most cost-effective PAS I’ve ever seen.” – Martin Alexander, Director of Information Services, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
PCS’ ease of implementation and high interoperability allowed a smooth transition from the previous PAS. South Tyneside was able to save money by integrating the system with existing IT infrastructure, and Silverlink’s model of not charging an upfront licence for the PAS system led the Trust’s Director of Information Services, Martin Alexander, to call it “the most cost-effective PAS I’ve ever seen.”
Since it went live, Silverlink PCS has been the backbone of the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. The technical robustness of PCS provides a stable foundation on which an IT team can develop a Trust’s IT capabilities without having to overhaul the entire system. The Trust and Silverlink further solidified their partnership on 1st July 2013 by signing a new contract. Martin Alexander noted that “it was the logical move because of the high level of confidence we have in the company.”
Ease of Integration for Improved Cost Effectiveness
An interoperable PAS that underpins a best-of-breed IT strategy not only makes it easier for Trusts to carry out specialist services, it allows them to upgrade their system without having to replace expensive technology. Silverlink PCS’s PAS provides Trusts with the building blocks to best fulfil their needs through a best-of-breed approach that makes practical and business sense.