Established in 2008 and operating from its head office in Truro, Peninsula Ultrasound is formed from the partnership and experience of clinical professionals with many years’ experience in healthcare and the NHS. The company offers the primary care sector a diagnostic service – ultrasound examinations – all performed in a quality, cost effective, rapid and community-driven method which is closer to a patient’s residence for convenience.
Peninsula Ultrasound uses modern scanning equipment and IT systems to integrate patients’ clinical images and records across the NHS network; enabling accessibility for NHS secondary-care clinicians and central storage within the NHS framework. This ensures that patients receive a local scanning service but with autonomy and integration with their district hospital for cross-referencing, specialist diagnosis and treatment.
In 2014, the scanning centre used a RIS from HSS on which to report and an Insignia PACS system to manage clinical images. The RIS connection stemmed from the main RIS of the local hospital, Royal Cornwall in Truro, and was initiated to meet both the localised needs of the patient and lessen the imaging workload for the Trust.
This subsidiary usage of the main hospital platform allowed some elements of radiology tasks to be carried out, such as attending on a patient and reporting, however the Trust software was not configured for effective use by a remote site. Karl Sturtridge, Managing Director for Peninsula Ultrasound, found that the configurable CRIS settings were not accessible for them remotely, meaning that workflow was limited and the autonomy and management of information was non-existent. This lack of custom configuration resulted in Karl and his team managing their appointments separately, using a work-around process which was more time consuming and practically, caused issues when staff could not access patient data until the appointment day.
In 2015 the centre was carrying out over 25,000 examinations a year, and so Karl decided that the growth of the business warranted their own in-house hosted imaging workflow and identified that the company needed a more proficient solution to carry out procedures correctly and professionally. Previous systems’ failings had ascertained for Karl that he wanted a both solution and a vendor that was reliable. In addition, the new RIS had to be easy to use for his team, encompass workflow functionality and scalability to support the growth of the business. Importantly, integration qualities were also a priority; they required an IT infrastructure which was both embedded in the local hospitals but also offered new elements of clinical intuition and technical functionality hosted locally at their own Truro site.
Karl sought guidance from three leading suppliers, initially seeking re-configuration of their existing CRIS system to allow for more control for Peninsula. He was met with frustrations in appointing a system that could fit their bespoke requirements and was cost-proportionate to the site’s size and privately funded set-up. Finally, in 2016, Peninsula contacted leading RIS developer Soliton IT for a system demonstration on their defining RIS, Radiology+.
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