Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust installs archiving solution


Trust partners with Dell and BridgeHead Software to create store for digitised patient data

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is partnering with Dell and BridgeHead Software to introduce an archiving solution that will improve the sharing of crucial medical data such as imaging and patient history.

With rising volumes of digitised patient data, the increased amount of information now available to clinicians is helping to provide a more holistic view of a patient’s medical history. Bu to ensure that this information is available at the point of care, and to tackle the huge data growth and associated costs, the trust needed to rethink its storage and archiving strategy with four key business drivers in mind:

  • New specialist patient care systems had been purchased that required large amounts of data storage. Files included pictures and videos and contained Personal Identifiable Data (PID), which has to be stored in a secure environment. Ensuring this data is accessible at any time, while maintaining stringent security protocols, was a priority for the trust to streamline clinical workflow and to support the delivery of patient care
  • Data compliance regulations mandate the trust to store much of its patient data for at least seven years. This drove a requirement for a tiered storage solution that could allow rarely used data to be hosted on lower cost storage, while regularly accessed, important patient information is stored on a faster, more expensive infrastructure
  • Managing staff emails was becoming a struggle as email and file servers were filling up and slowing down. The trust needed to archive and remove emails and files that were no longer required, allowing staff to benefit from much faster email and improved sharing of information
  • Disaster recovery was an issue. The amount of information stored on the existing system demanded weekly back-ups of application, email and file data which took up to 52 hours to complete over the course of a weekend. Disaster recovery is vital for a busy trust where patient data is crucial to the delivery of care. Loss, whether permanent or temporary, could significantly impact the running of the hospital. By speeding up backups, the trust will considerably reduce disruption to clinical workflows.

To help overcome all of these challenges, the trust has introduced the Email and File Archive solution from Dell and BridgeHead Software as Phase 1 of its upgrade project. This phase is designed to help manage existing files, emails, SharePoint sites and data that may be subject to industry or government regulations for access and retention.

The system is designed to allow clinicians at the trust to easily retrieve and share data securely, whenever and wherever they need it, by improving relevant search results with integrated software and retrieval services.

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The new archiving environment takes advantage of BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management (HDM) solution, a proven capability present in over 1,200 hospitals worldwide. It will be easily integrated with the trust’s existing IT infrastructure that is based on VMware on Dell PowerEdge Servers and Dell EqualLogic Storage at the core to ensure that clinicians experience minimal disruption. Phase 2 of the project will be the adoption of Dell and BridgeHead Software’s Clinical Archiving Solution; helping the trust to further share and manage clinical data.