Interoperability between ophthalmic imaging devices and electronic patient records with controlled access to community primary care

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves a population of approximately 600,000. Like many eye departments it  faced greater demand due to an increase in age-related long-term conditions. This was coupled with technological infrastructure which had grown piecemeal over many years. As a result, it had multiple different imaging devices all using different formats and needing to be accessed through different programs which did not link to the electronic patient record.

Situation

Clinicians in the hospital were spending a large amount of time accessing different programmes that did not ‘talk’ to each other. In addition, optometrists seeing patients in the community were unaware of the background and management plan from the hospital, leading to unnecessary referrals.

Aspiration

The main aim of the project was to create a single system so that the clinician in the hospital could quickly and efficiently access all relevant information about a patient. A secondary aim was to provide limited role-based access to this system for primary care optometrists in order to improve the care delivered in primary care and reduce unnecessary referrals.

Solution and impact

OphthalSuite was introduced to provide interoperability between all the imaging devices and electronic patient records in the hospital. This has created a single, efficient and easy-to-use system for clinicians, as well as feedback to community optometrists. Clinician time saved can be used to deliver care to more patients with the same staffing and space resource.

Currently the team is poised for phase two of the project. This will provide restricted access but full functionality to the system for the 68 optometry practices in the area which will allow for more shared care for patients closer to home. Initially, simply by enabling primary care optometrists to review data held in secondary care, without any need for a funded enhanced assessment, this is predicted to significantly reduce avoidable referrals and allow for better patient management.

Functionality

  • OphthalSuite is an integration platform for ophthalmology that connects all devices (including legacy data) to a centralised database, regardless of the manufacturer or format
  • It connects to the existing medical records management system of the hospital and is compatible with all devices and exam types, including Optos ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging, optical coherence tomography (OCT), Visual Fields, Fundus Imaging, Topographies and B-Scans

Capabilities

  • Web-based service, so can be accessed anywhere on any electronic medical record
  • Clinicians can access exam results in real time
  • Navigate easily through patient exams, including full volumetric OCTs, on all devices
  • View all images with full quality
  • Does not copy or convert data; can read original file formats
  • View graphical evolution of numeric values
  • Comparing exams taken in different periods, side-by-side or in mosaic, and thus assess patient evolution

Scope

  • It connects to the existing medical records management system of the hospital and is compatible with several devices and exam types, such as Optos, OCT, Visual Fields and OCTA
  • Accessible on all Trust sites for virtual clinics with the aim of making it accessible in the community

Find out more

Download further information from the Blueworks OphthalSuite website (PDF, 240 KB)

Key contact

Scott Vallance,ophthalmic imaging manager, Gloucester Royal Hospital

scott.vallance@nhs.net