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Barts and the London NHS Trust, comprised of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Royal London Hospital, and the London Chest Hospital, is one of the largest and most respected teaching hospital trusts in Britain. The trust offers 1,000 hospital beds and cares for more than 500,000 patients annually in the London area.

barts-nhsOver the years, Barts has developed and deployed a set of clinical and administrative applications integrated through many point-to-point connections. With plans to build a new hospital, an initiative to improve clinical processes through modernized information systems, and the advent of Britain’s nationwide electronic health record (the Care Records Service, or CRS), Barts selected the comprehensive capabilities of InterSystems Ensemble rapid integration platform to address these challenges.

Our first experience using Ensemble has confirmed for us that we now have the means to connect our applications across the entire continuum of care.

Mike Eagles, Head of Software Development
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital

The first phase of the trust’s modernization used Ensemble to integrate a new radiology information system (iSOFT’s RadCenter) into the trust’s existing physician order entry (POE) system. Orders for radiology come into Ensemble from the POE, and Ensemble communicates the request, with some transformation of data formats, to RadCenter. RadCenter then returns the results, including the radiologist’s observation report, to Ensemble using HL7 messaging. This receipt of results triggers Ensemble to communicate reports back to the POE system, and to transform the HL7 formatted results and observation report into Barts’ locally implemented structures for electronic communication to the patient’s personal physician.

“Our first experience using Ensemble has confirmed for us that we now have the means to connect our applications across the entire continuum of care,” says Mike Eagles, head of software development at Barts, “and to quickly adapt to any changes that come our way.”

Now rolling straight toward Barts is the National Health Service’s CRS. “When the software for the CRS is implemented,” explains Eagle, “we’ll be ready with Ensemble to integrate those services with our existing systems. We’ll be able to keep the best of what works for us now and still get the benefits of a nationwide electronic health record.”