True collaborative approach between Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Carestream and BridgeHead delivers optimised PACS and VNA solution

ASHTEAD, UK – January 15th, 2015 – Clinicians working at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust (QE Gateshead) can now continue to view medical radiology images such as CT, MR, ultrasound, and computed radiography, from any department, following the successful migration of over one million medical studies (approximately 15TB of data), to a new Picture Archive and Communication Solution (PACS) and Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA). The new solution enables QE Gateshead to better store, protect and share radiology information across the Trust.

The Trust deployed Carestream’s Vue PACS following a successful data migration project and VNA deployment with healthcare data management specialist, BridgeHead Software. The move to the new PACS was essential due to the imminent ending of its existing PACS contract, signed under the NHS Connecting for Health Programme (CfH).


The two-phased project firstly saw in excess of one million medical imaging studies transferred from the incumbent PACS provider into BridgeHead’s HealthStore® application-independent clinical archive (incorporating a VNA) and then made available to Carestream’s Vue PACS. Specifically, phase one of the project addressed data quality and data compliance. The project required all imaging data to conform to the DICOM standard, i.e. the standard for handling, storing, printing and transmitting information in medical imaging. This culminated in all current studies held in the central data store (as provided by the National CfH Programme), as well as those kept in the legacy PACS, being successfully migrated to the BridgeHead VNA.

Phase two of the project integrated the BridgeHead VNA with Carestream’s Vue PACS for the archiving of new data and the retrieval of historical data from the legacy PACS. Carestream and BridgeHead Software worked collaboratively to configure the solution to enable VuePACS to query the VNA, retrieving live data directly from it and storing it locally in its own cache. This design will enable users to quickly compare relevant priors for diagnostic reading.

Phase two also ensured data adhered to the Imaging Object Change Management (IOCM) standard, which enables Vue PACS to send an instruction to the VNA to remove, hide or delete a study in the event of patient safety or data quality issues. An initial nine months’ worth of the most recent studies were uploaded into VuePACS. By doing so, when the switch in PACS providers took place, there was minimal disruption to image access for users and, therefore, QE Gateshead’s ability to provide continuity of care was not impacted.

Jim Beagle, CEO of BridgeHead Software comments: “When managing patient information in an application-independent clinical archive – data retention, data quality and conformance to standards facilitates informed decision-making about patients. BridgeHead worked collaboratively with Carestream to ensure compliance to the DICOM standard and to correct any pre-existing data quality issues thereby meeting the strict data retention requirements and data quality standards outlined in our SLA with Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.”

Clare Jones, Radiology IT Systems Manager, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust comments: “One of our core requirements was to ensure data retention from our former PACS provider. We achieved this by successfully migrating our legacy imaging studies into our VNA, making it available to Carestream’s Vue PACS. The BridgeHead VNA will form the cornerstone of our wider electronic patient record programme; therefore, it was essential that data in both our new PACS and in the VNA conformed to the required standards ensuring data availability to multiple systems and multiple authorised users. The data migration was completed with minimal impact to our PACS users. Consequently, there was little impact on our ability to deliver the high quality of patient care we are known for. BridgeHead Software and Carestream demonstrated a real collaborative and partner approach which, as a customer, provides me with the confidence that we selected the right organisations to work with.”

Enterprise-wide archive and distribution

Charlie McCaffrey, Managing Director of Carestream comments: “Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust, through separate procurements made via the NHS Supply Chain, chose Carestream to deliver Vue RIS and Vue PACS and BridgeHead to deliver the VNA. Through close collaborative working between all three parties, the legacy RIS & PACS solution was replaced with minimum disruption to service and the Trust is now enjoying the benefits of a state-of-the-art fully integrated RIS, PACS & VNA solution with embedded Vue Reporting in PACS and long term storage provided by the VNA.”

In the future, QE Gateshead intends to extend the scope of the BridgeHead VNA to become the hospital’s single, enterprise-wide archive for all clinical imaging. This would result in broadening the archive to ingest data from other disciplines outside of radiology, such as (but not limited to) endoscopy, medical photography and scanned documents.

BridgeHead’s HealthStore® is a modular solution, which incorporates a VNA as well as a central archive for all of a hospital’s data. It is a subset of BridgeHead’s wider Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution which, in turn, offers additional features of backup and disaster recovery. Collectively, BridgeHead’s HDM offers a robust, scalable, enterprise-class data management and protection environment specially designed for healthcare organisations.

Interactive resources

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