IT news: News round-up

Clinical systems at the bedside

FOUR NHS trusts have started trialling the use of patient bedside terminals to access clinical systems. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust have all begun using the Clinical Access service from Hospedia on terminals supplied by JAOtech.

The company's commercial and media director, Ben Packman, said the idea of using bedside terminals to access clinical systems first emerged 12 years ago when the then Labour government mandated their rollout to improve patient access to telephones and TV. "But it never really took off, and the National Programme for IT rode over the top of it," he added. But he argued trusts were now becoming more aware of the benefits of the technology and were keen to deploy solutions. "Access to PACS and electronic prescribing is where they are really starting to see the benefits for them," he said.

Yeovil team singled out for praise

MEMBERS of the IT team at Yeovil District Hospital have been recognised for their efforts over the past year. In the annual trust awards, the department was one of four teams and five individuals singled out for praise. A hospital spokesman said: "The team has adapted to many NHS changes and managed with a great deal of professionalism to find ways of providing a multitude of data required both internally and externally. The team has absorbed into their workload the management of these systems for other departments to try and help alleviate the pressures which are inevitably also felt by many of their colleagues. Much of what they do is outside the remit of their roles, but they view themselves as part of the bigger trust team and consider that, as part of that team, they feel motivated to help where they can."

Boost for hard of hearing patients

ASHFORD and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recently taken delivery of three computers designed to help patients who need to communicate through British Sign Language. Two of the mobile and height-adjustable units have been located in Chertsey's St Peter's Hospital, in A and E and the Abbey Wing, and the other in the outpatients department of Ashford Hospital. Diane Lashbrook, matron for outpatients at St Peter's Hospital, said: "These computers are a great benefit for patients who need to communicate via signing. We ordered them so we can provide 24/7 online access to British Sign Language. I believe we are one of the first trusts to offer this service to our patients.'

Security solution for North West trusts

NHS trusts in the North West of England are to deploy IT security solutions from Sophos as part of a new contract. The agreement, via partner Foursys, will see 11,000 devices including clinical machines and mobile devices which are used to access private patient data protected by Sophos technology. The contract was drawn up by the North Mersey Informatics Service.

Its technical architecture manager, Steven Parker, said: "We were at a crossroads where cost-cutting financial pressures had to be balanced with the logistics of deploying a new security solution across thousands of endpoints. After considering a range of options, Sophos came out on top, not only in terms of cost-efficiency, but also for ease and speed of deployment. The real bonus is that we've actually improved our anti-virus solution at the endpoint, but also achieved a cost saving."

GP commissioning solution is launched

ASCRIBE has released the first of its MS SharePoint cloud solutions aimed at emerging GP clinical commissioning groups. The Online GP Appraisal and Revalidation Solution will enable trusts to automate the appraisal process through a series of online forms that capture all the relevant information in a single location. Delivered via Microsoft's cloud SharePoint service, NHS trusts can subscribe on a monthly basis, removing the need for any capital outlay.

Stephen Critchlow, chief executive of Ascribe, said: "Following our announcement of the GP Appraisal solution in July, we are delighted to deliver a cloud-based delivery platform for this system which saves time, delivers operational benefits and cost savings in the appraisal process for GPs. Ascribe is committed to developing IT systems that help to inform care and improve health."

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Medical electronics firm, ML Electronics, has won the Moore Stephens Business of the Year Award at the 2011 South Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards.

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