By John McCann

Today, we announced an important new product release at BridgeHead Software – the Data Protection Suite for Caché Databases. The reason this product release is so important is because the InterSystems Caché® database is the underlying technology used by many healthcare applications across the world. These include, but are not limited to, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) applications and Patient Administration Systems (PAS) from vendors such as Allscripts, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, McKesson, Siemens, as well as InterSystems themselves.

Lately, there has been an increasing interest in the Caché database from the UK healthcare sector. Partly this has arisen from the selection of Epic Systems and InterSystems as providers of PAS under the London Framework agreement – in both cases, the Caché database underpins the solutions. There is also a vast array of healthcare applications, from an array of vendors, spread throughout the NHS that utilise the Caché database. InterSystems alone have quite a large footprint in the NHS with InterSystems TrakCare®, InterSystems Ensemble® and InterSystems HealthShare™ to name a few.

In addition, what has emerged in the last couple of weeks is that the Caché database is utilised in the US Veterans Health Association’s open source electronic medical record system, VistA. This is the subject of much press speculation at present in the UK. The launch of a new NHS initiative called “Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards” where £260m is being offered as part of a Technology Fund to help hospitals to achieve their goals of an integrated digital care record. According to online publication, ehealth Insider, as part of this initiative, NHS England has already invested £300k on an exchange programme with the US Veterans Health Association to investigate its use of open source software and is currently undertaking an “initial assessment” of VistA in an attempt to establish the level of work that would be required to localise it so that it’s suitable for use in the NHS. According to ehealth Insider, NHS England would like to develop a ‘core’ NHS VistA product and then use further funds to “ensure ongoing innovation and development.”

So, if NHS VistA becomes a reality for UK hospitals, then in its capacity as an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system, it is by definition, mission critical. And mission critical systems require protection in the event of outages, losses, corruptions or disasters, so as not to impact the delivery of clinical services and, ultimately, patient care. This is where BridgeHead Software could play a crucial role – indeed it already can for those hospitals using applications underpinned by the InterSystems Caché database.

To learn more about the BridgeHead Data Protection Suite for Caché, read the press release here. In addition, BridgeHead offers data protection solutions that extend across all of a hospitals systems and data.