Nottingham University Hospitals Switches to Orion Health Rhapsody

Orion HealthNottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has completed a complex project to switch integration engines; on time, on budget, and with no disruption to services. The trust has a well-advanced 'best of breed' strategy to create an electronic patient record and support paperless and mobile working. It has around 900 servers running over 300 clinical and administrative systems; and its integration engine is vital for enabling them to exchange data with each other.

The trust was running two SeeBeyond integration engines, but in early 2017 it decided it would need to move to another product because Oracle had announced that it would be ending support for Java CAPs in February this year.

Last April, the trust signed a deal with Orion Health to use the Rhapsody Integration Engine, and since then has worked closely with the company to complete the migration from one to the other.

Matt Howden, Head of IT strategy, said: "The project was completed in the last week of February. In fact, I was able to tell the board that week that this was one of the rare IT projects that had a finite timescale and was completed on budget. It was not a trivial project, either; it was very complex."

Nottingham University Hospitals is a large trust, serving around 2.5 million people in the Midlands. It employs around 15,000 people at three major sites, and has 1,700 beds across 90 wards.

When it started working with Orion Health, it reviewed all its systems and the messages that went through its integration engine, and concluded that 57 systems and 75 interfaces would need to be moved.

The project included both simple messages, that could be dealt with quickly, and complex, HL7 messages that needed to query other systems as they passed through the integration engine. These could take the team a month to move.

A production environment was created to mirror every message in SeeBeyond and test it before it went live in Rhapsody. Testing was automated using a Rhapsody add-on called The Comparator, to iron out problems before human user acceptance testing.

This helped to speed up development and keep the project on track. "We matched Orion Health’s workforce days with our workforce days, and something like 1,500 days' worth of effort went into the 310 days of the project," Howden calculated. "Adding in the application testing teams’ resources took us to the 1,700 days' mark."

Nottingham University Hospitals expects to see benefits from its new integration engine. Howden said: "JCAPS felt like a product that was getting to the end of its life. It was getting difficult to fix bugs and we had workarounds in place as a consequence.

"We're confident that using Rhapsody will be very different. Also, the user interface is much better and the speed of deployment should be quicker. That will make it much easier to integrate further systems as they are introduced to the trust."

Nottingham remains committed to its best of breed strategy, is working on an electronic document management project, and is experimenting with different methods of digital data capture, such as voice recognition.

"We are in the process of replacing our wired and wireless network," Howden said. "We are a highly mobile trust, with a 'digital first' paperless strategy and we want to deploy systems that people like to use. The worst thing I can hear is that a system is not being updated because a doctor or nurse has to walk away from a patient to find a PC. We are committed to making sure things are done at the point of care."

The move to Rhapsody will support the trust’s ambitions. Gary Birks, general manager for UK and Ireland at Orion Health said: "Orion Health has replaced a number of JCAPS engines globally, as organisations have come to the end of their contracts and decided to move to the Rhapsody Integration Engine.

"Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest integration engine projects completed in the UK, completed in a short timeframe, on time and on budget. Close team working between the teams at Orion Health and Nottingham University Hospitals was the key to successfully completing this challenging project.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Trust as it pushes forward with its ambition to deliver the best and most contemporary IT systems to its staff and patients."

About Orion Health Ltd

Orion Health is an award-winning population health management company and one of the world’s leading providers of electronic health records (EHRs) and secure information exchange solutions to health and care organisations. Worldwide, Orion Health solutions are used in 30 countries to facilitate timely, safe and effective healthcare delivery to more than 100 million patients. This includes over 70 organisations throughout the NHS in England, more than 50% of Scotland’s population, and all of Northern Ireland. Within EMEA, the firm has three offices in the UK as well as offices in France, Spain, Turkey and UAE.

About Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust based in the heart of Nottingham and provide services to over 2.5 million residents of Nottingham and its surrounding communities. We also provide specialist services for a further 3-4 million people from across the region. We're one of the largest employers in the region, employing around 15,000 people at QMC, Nottingham City Hospital and Ropewalk House. We have 90 wards and around 1,700 beds.

We have a national and international reputation for many of our specialist services, including stroke, renal, neurosciences, cancer services and trauma.

We are at the forefront of many research programmes and new surgical procedures. In partnership with The University of Nottingham we host a Biomedical Research Centre carrying out vital research into hearing, digestive diseases, respiratory, musculoskeletal disease, mental health and imaging.

As a teaching trust we have a strong relationship with our colleagues at The University of Nottingham and other universities across the East Midlands, including Loughborough University, where we are part of the Olympic Legacy project.

We play a vital role in the education and training of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

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