A company aiming to transform the way surgical records are maintained has expanded into Sheffield, adding to the city’s growing reputation as a centre of international excellence in healthcare technology.
Informatics Clinical Information Systems (CIS) has developed software for safer, quicker and more effective care of patients before, during and after operations.
The software has been designed with the help of anaesthetists, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Operating in Glasgow since 1991, Informatics CIS has created a second base in the heart of Sheffield’s digital industries cluster, at The Workstation, Paternoster Row, and has already started creating new jobs.
The company’s growth is being supported by Creative Sheffield – a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP).
Creative Sheffield is Sheffield City Council’s economic development function, which is committed to boosting business growth in the city.
It is funded by Sheffield City Council and is a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP) that is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Yorkshire and The Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.
As well as helping Informatics CIS to find premises and recruit, Creative Sheffield has put the company in touch with academic, clinical and business networks in the city, and assisted with identifying funding opportunities.
Informatics CIS’s managing director Tom Hurrell said:
“Sheffield is a centre of excellence in the healthcare technology sector and has a general creative buzz.
“Our decision has been validated as, within just a few months, the city is proving to be just perfect for us.
“The support we’ve had through Creative Sheffield has been fantastic in helping us to set up here – including finding premises, hiring new talent and introducing us to the universities and professional networks in the city and region”.
Informatics CIS has developed its Synopsis product for use in two areas – preoperative assessment, and anaesthesia and theatres.
It replaces the paper-based systems most hospitals rely on.
For pre-operative assessment, Synopsis brings together all the necessary information about a patient, such as blood test results, allergies and medications they are taking, and interprets it, providing risk scores and alerts to help clinicians make decisions.
The approach reduces the likelihood of cancellations.
Up to three quarters of cancelled day case surgeries and half cancelled inpatient procedures are due to problems with pre-operative assessments.
On the anaesthetics side, the system runs on a touch screen by the anaesthetic machine, giving an electronic patient record as well as monitoring medical devices during surgery.
The software is already in use at a hospital in Holland and will start to be introduced into seven NHS trusts around the UK over the next few months.
“By developing digital products that provide a rich source of intelligible information, we aim to make a real difference to clinical practice, patient outcomes and financial performance.
“We know they really help because we’ve designed them by speaking to dedicated health professionals in the field.
“While some IT companies build software that’s good for IT companies, we build it for the benefit of healthcare.”
Informatics CIS has benefited from working closely with Sheffield Hallam University.
The university’s Cultural, Creative and Computing Research Institute provides research expertise in the areas of interaction design and health technologies.
This collaboration has generated new lines of business for the company and strengthened its strategic planning.
In the future it is hoped that Informatics CIS will also benefit from the university’s Innovation Futures scheme which enables the university to help companies innovate.
Informatics CIS’s new business coordinator Sara Morton was also recruited with the support of Creative Sheffield.
The company expects to appoint further new staff as it grows.
Creative Sheffield’s sector growth manager for healthcare technologies, Philippa Hedley-Takhar, said:
“We’re delighted Informatics CIS has expanded into Sheffield.
“The city offers an environment which fosters innovation and creativity and is already home to established clusters of digital and healthcare technology industries.
“Companies like Informatics CIS are benefitting from the world-class expertise here to enable them to create healthcare solutions to meet patient needs, enabling the NHS to improve patient care and reduce costs.”