ASHTEAD, UK – September 26, 2019 – BridgeHead Software, a leader in healthcare data management, marked its official 25th anniversary at the end of August; and reaffirmed its ongoing dedication to helping healthcare customers deliver the highest standards of patient care by consolidating, storing, protecting and providing access to vital patient and administrative information.
Founded in 1994 by its current Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tony Cotterill, BridgeHead Software has grown into an international supplier of healthcare data management solutions with offices in the UK and US; supporting over 1,200 hospitals worldwide.
BridgeHead’s Evolution: The Journey to Healthcare Data Management
In 1999, after an initial period providing consultancy to US software organisations wishing to enter the European market (a clue to the origin of its name), BridgeHead Software, now joined by CTO Gareth Griffiths, began selling storage software following the acquisition of Raxco-UIS, the storage business of the now defunct Multistream Systems Ltd.
In 2001, BridgeHead conducted a successful project to build a storage solution for MEDITECH, a provider of integrated and interoperable electronic health records (EHR) software. BridgeHead then went on to take advantage of a gap in the market to provide MEDITECH’s customers with storage agnostic backup, disaster recovery and archiving solutions; and its healthcare business was born.
Talking about BridgeHead Software’s transition from a data management and protection company to its current position as a specialist healthcare data management provider, Tony Cotterill, BridgeHead Software’s Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “From our roots as the only data management provider that can store, protect and share healthcare data across all hardware and operating systems, BridgeHead Software has grown out from the MEDITECH ecosystem into a full data management and protection provider for all healthcare organisations.”
“When we started working in healthcare it was apparent that, while health systems had enormous expertise in creating clinical applications to support delivery, their ability to manage and protect their data was poor. Bringing BridgeHead Software’s heritage as a data management specialist and applying that into the healthcare environment created a symbiotic relationship that continues to flourish to this day.”
BridgeHead’s Ethos Remains Unchanged
BridgeHead has long held the view that data is the lifeblood of healthcare. Data leads to information, which leads to knowledge, which leads to better clinical decisions and patient outcomes. But, for healthcare information to be truly available as part of the longitudinal patient record, safe and useful throughout its lifecycle, it must have independence from both the application that creates it, and the storage on which it sits, i.e. it should not be locked into departmental silos.
BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management solutions exist to provide a layer of management and protection that works with all hospital applications and storage hardware, regardless of vendor. That way, data remains available to the creating application, but can also interoperate with other applications, such as electronic medical record (EMR) solutions, clinical portals or other systems used within a healthcare setting.
Jim Beagle, President and CEO at BridgeHead Software said: “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, it’s important to remember why we exist as a business. We believe in the importance of data and how it can fundamentally improve the quality of healthcare. When I joined the company in 2011, the healthcare landscape was a very different place: data was exclusively an IT concern; the industry lagged behind others in terms of cloud adoption and cutting-edge technology use; healthcare providers relied on services provided within many disparate, departmental silos; and large suppliers and contracts dominated. Even within a hospital setting, access to a 360-degree view of patient information was considered a ‘pipedream’, let alone across the wider healthcare economy.”
He adds: “Today, it’s widely recognised that data is a strategic asset to healthcare organisations. With the emergence of a new generation of trailblazing healthcare CIO/CDIOs and CCIO/CMIOs, this message is reaching hospital board executives to affect real positive change for patients and clinicians, with interoperability and open standards now a key part of healthcare policy. BridgeHead Software has played a part in helping many UK and US healthcare providers deliver on this to improve patient care – something everyone at BridgeHead can be inordinately proud of.”
BridgeHead: The Next Chapter
BridgeHead Software is well positioned to capitalise on the next major drivers shaping healthcare IT. The massive growth in data volumes from personal devices and the need to deliver more joined up systems across the ecosystem will push the need to consolidate, store, protect and share data centrally, not tied to the application that creates it, so that the whole health and care community can benefit from a richer information set on which to make better care decisions.
Mr Beagle concludes: “While there is a plethora of new technologies that promise to deliver real benefits to patient care, there is a huge amount of work that needs to be done in addressing siloed data and legacy systems. By unlocking the data trapped in these applications, healthcare providers can free up time and resources to improve care and focus on new initiatives.”
Tony has worked in IT for over 30 years with over 25 of these years spent building and managing software businesses in the UK, Netherlands and USA. Tony founded BridgeHead Software in 1994.
He previously managed the European subsidiary of Raxco Software following its merger with UIS, where he had established and led UIS’ overseas divisions to profitability.
Tony’s introduction to storage management was as an IT Director responsible for providing IT services to the civil engineering community. It was from here that he saw the need for an independent software provider that would concentrate on storage management issues.
Jim Beagle is President and CEO at BridgeHead Software
Jim has worked in the technology, distribution and consulting markets for more than 25 years in director-level positions. As President and CEO Jim brings his expertise of delivering business growth and profitability to BridgeHead worldwide.
He previously was executive vice president of worldwide sales and services at CarbonFlow Corporation. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Extraprise International; divisional vice president of Object Design, Inc.; European director of UIS (one of the companies that formed Sprint) and a number of sales and marketing roles at ICL (now part of Fujitsu).
Jim holds an MBA from Henley Management College, as well as a Diploma in Management Studies from Kingston Management College, and a degree from the London School of Economics.
Click here to watch Digital Health’s best practice webinar, ‘Access To A 360-Degree Patient History – A Realistic Prospect Or A Distant Pipedream?’ to hear thought leaders’ ideas and experiences when it comes to accessing patient information.