Consolidating data and preparing for a paperless future at acute hospital trust


When the SAN at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwick NHS Trust reached the end of life, the Trust chose Fordway to design and install a new scalable solution, which would consolidate storage from across the Trust, provide a platform for a new PACS implementation and support future growth.  The new storage solution delivers better availability and resilience and provides a flexible platform for future developments.

A combination of factors prompted the Trust to carry out a strategic review of its entire storage strategy in 2012. First, its existing EMC SAN, which handled the Trust’s main storage and critical systems, was nearing end of life. Second, the national PACS (picture archiving and communications systems) contract outside London was due to end in June 2013, so Trusts across England had to decide whether to continue with their existing supplier or take a new approach to handling a huge volume of images.   The third factor was the government’s long-term plan for a ‘paperless’ NHS by 2018, which will enable Trusts to store and retrieve patient notes on demand. UHCW is already one of three exemplar sites for paperless working in the UK, and plans to implement a fully paperless system by 2016. To do this it will need to scan all patient notes and store them electronically, further increasing its volume of data.  

The EMC SAN would reach the end of its maintenance life in 2014. Associate Director of IT Charles Yeomanson and his colleagues decided that there was no benefit in buying additional capacity to get the most from their existing storage assets.

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