The current government directive has seen two key elements of the IT service emerge: CSU (Commissioning Support Units) and those responsible for the Acute Trusts (typically a Hospital). CSU’s are providing services to what was once known as a PCT (Primary Care Trust) but has now become a CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). Critical to their success is IT service delivery and support.
Elements of the PCT legacy from an IT perspective have been moved to both the CSU and Acute Trust, a split of infrastructure, and this transition has been the responsibility of those managing the IT estate (the consolidated Data Centre). In a number of cases, NCE’s skills have been brought to fruition to help with this process.
Some of you may have heard the term PACS (Picture Archiving & Communication System) in association with medical imaging, and this hasn’t escaped the attentions of NCE too! The increased quality and capabilities of medical imaging include X-ray, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positive Emission Tomography (PET) technology. The retention of these high resolution images once generated has triggered increasing demands on the storage environment. Over the next year or so the supplier contracts that were put in place for the PACS, Radiology Information System (RIS) and/or image archive systems are due for renewal and this in itself has triggered the demand for PACS localisation at the Acute Trust level. NCE have worked, and continue to, work closely with a number of Acute Level Trusts to put in place scalable and capable solutions for this application.
The Healthcare market unquestionably competes with the storage industry in the world of acronyms, and another initiative – the drive for EPR (Electronic Patient Records) within the NHS is also putting huge demands on the IT infrastructure and its associated storage. Depending on where the Acute Trust is with regard to integration and consolidation, the ability to link the EPR with other systems (such as PACS) can mean storage of data is duplicated, often residing on completely different hardware vendor storage platforms and technologies. Equally many Patient Administration Systems (PAS) have yet to be migrated over to the EPR framework. The GP (General Practitioner or family doctor in old money!) may also work from a system that is independent of the EPR. In essence the objective of the government to collaborate the work within the NHS is clearly one that needs to apply to the data too, but the help of an independent storage specialist (step forward NCE!) can be key to doing this efficiently and affordably, retaining data security and compliance throughout as patient records are not something that can be compromised.
In the era of league tables and central government looking to score every Acute Trust, CSU and CCG on its performance one of the most significant I/O demanding elements of Healthcare is that of Informatics - collecting, managing, reporting and sharing the daily (and in some cases hourly) activity of the organisation. This Data Warehousing process provides the business intelligence which, ultimately, the regulators and government judge (and provide funding) against – therefore it is critical to every aspect of the NHS and seen as something that is top of the priority list for each and every one. The way that this data is collated is typically in a lump (a huge flat file) so, as a result, it is an I/O intensive application. Some of the technology covered in this book is perfectly aligned to this and has already been implemented for this very purpose.
Let’s not forget that the NHS IT function also has to provide those that work tirelessly to provide us with one of the best healthcare systems in the world with access to those day to day services such as email, documents and spread sheets – and NCE have provided many storage area networks, backup and recovery solutions and Petabytes of disk storage to serve this purpose too.
"We had been asked to look into putting in place a Disaster Recovery Plan, something that encompassed storage so I spoke to NCE"
NCE are delighted to announce that we were winners at the coveted Storage Awards, snapping up 'Storage Service Company of the Year' once again for 2015!
If you’ve lost data from your NAS, call our Data Recovery call centre on 01249 813666.
We have a large quantity of products ready to ship, though should you need extra assistance, NCE's field service team can even help you with the delivery and installation of your loan product.