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Double success at major industry awards

NHS Connecting for Health has been celebrating double success at the eHealth Insider Awards, with recognition for PACS and the Southern and London Programmes for IT. (Published: 11 October 2010)

The PACS team, with colleagues from the Department of Health and supplier Burnbank Health Systems, picked up an award for 'Innovation in Healthcare Interoperability' for the work done to introduce the Image Exchange Portal (IEP).

IEP is a web-based solution which enables x-rays and other digital images to be transferred between NHS organisations and independent sector healthcare providers.

The system has already been adopted by 80 per cent of NHS trusts across England and, to date, it has been used to transfer more than 100,000 studies, containing almost 19 million images.

Reflecting on the success of IEP to date, Programme Director Mary Barber said: "IEP was developed with a great deal of NHS input and it has been readily embraced by both trusts and independent sector healthcare providers.

"It's a pragmatic and cost-effective solution, which meets many of the requirements clinicians have for being able to transfer images and reports quickly and securely between organisations. In addition, it's enabling trusts to work more efficiently and reduce the reliance on costly transfers of information via CD."

PACS Medical Director Erika Denton said: "The clinical need to share patients' diagnostic information across the NHS is great and IEP has significantly improved our ability to achieve that goal and improve patient care."

The Southern and London Programmes for IT are also celebrating after picking up the award for 'Excellence in Major Healthcare IT Development'. Both programmes have been working with BT and CSE Healthcare Systems to introduce the RiO electronic care record system.

RiO has been widely adopted by community and mental health services across the capital while, in the south, it has now been rolled-out to 18 of the 25 organisations who are receiving it.

Richard Caves, CIO at NHS South West, is Senior Responsible Owner for RiO in the south. He says: "The roll-out of RiO in the south has been a truly collaborative effort between the trusts, the three southern SHAs, the central SPfIT team, BT, CSE Healthcare Systems and Perot.

"From our very first implementation, at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we've had tremendous momentum, having learned a lot from the experiences of our colleagues in London. The system is now helping around 14,000 staff working in community and mental health across the region to provide better care to the people they serve.

"We're now more than 70 per cent of the way through our planned deployments and we're looking forward to completing the remainder early in the New Year."

Also shortlisted in the eHI awards were the Prison Health IT programme (in the 'Healthcare IT team of the Year' category) and the Technology Office ('Innovation in Healthcare Interoperability'). This year's awards attracted a record number of entries across 11 different categories.