Other IT for SLMS Projects

Outside of the Transformation Programme, IT for SLMS are also delivering several specialised projects to support SLMS in achieving its strategic aims.

Click on the links below to read more about each of the projects:

SLMS Identifiable Data Project

UCL’s medical research community routinely handles patient data, but there is presently no formal data handling agreement between UCL and its NHS partner organizations, and no central or faculty-level infrastructure to store such data.

The Department of Health’s Information Governance Toolkit allows partners to assess themselves against DoH Information Governance policies and standards. The current version (8) requires that secondary use organisations (including research):

“...new processes, services, information systems, and other relevant information assets are developed and implemented in a secure and structured manner, and comply with IG security accreditation, information quality and confidentiality and data protection requirements”

To remain competitive, researchers who handle identifiable data need to have access to a working environment that meets the requirements of the IG Toolkit. This environment will reduces risk for UCL and shifts a large part of the activity required to ensure an audited and compliant environment from individual researchers to the IT for SLMS.

This project will establish a comprehensive solution for UCL researchers who need to apply for, store or handle identifiable patient data.

SLMS Clinical Trials Unit Commissioning Project

Clinical trials are a growth area in UK with a major focus on quality as well as quantity. Funders recognise that CTUs play a key role providing dedicated expertise in trial methodology including design and development, implementation, management and analysis from multi-disciplinary teams of clinicians, statisticians, and experience clinical trials operations staff underpinned by specialist information systems and administration.

The UCL CTU is being established to support high quality, high impact clinical trials recognised as a priority for SLMS and UCL Partners. The UCL CTU is already committed to supporting a number of existing and new trials which have agreed start times. It is essential that the IT services are available in a timely fashion to support this work.

The benefits this project will deliver are:

  • Timely commissioning of IT resources
  • Commodity IT provision utilising standard IT for SLMS services
  • Improved support for clinical trials databases

IT for SLMS Staff Link to Log-In Area for project documentation

SLMS Central Clinical Audit Database Project

NICOR (the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research) exists to improve the care and outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease by providing high quality comparative information from national clinical audits. Established by Bruce Keogh, now NHS Medical Director, NICOR is led by Roger Boyle (the “heart tsar” - the National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke) in association with the specialist clinical societies responsible for each of the national audits, and the Department of Health Vascular Team.

Clinicians lead the audits, working together with information management experts. The audits have many partners but in particular there is a close relationship with local hospitals which submit data to the audit and receive in return comparative feedback reports. NICOR sits within the Cardiovascular Prevention and Outcomes Centre (CPOC), which is in turn part of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London (UCL).

The system is under-pinned by the Central Cardiac Audit Database (CCAD) managed via IT for SLMS of our host organisation, UCL. Specialist staff provide programming support for the individual audits. IT for SLMS provides an interface into CCAD for the many variants of local data entry systems that exist. System security meets the requirements of the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (ECC) of the National Information Governance Board (NIGB), which has granted UCL approval under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 to process patient audit data (further details on information governance arrangements are given later).

The current CCAD application is implemented using Lotus Notes, and is hosted by the NHS Information Centre, on an annual subcontract. The NICOR strategy (19th April 2011) clearly states the intention to move the CCAD away from the NHS Information Centre to a UCL supported environment. As part of this process the current high level user requirements will be defined and an options appraisal of appropriate technology will be undertaken.

The business benefits this project can deliver are:

  • Reduced hosting costs
  • Improved management of current application
  • Improved features and functionalities
  • Improved integration with existing UCL technologies and services
  • Improved resilience

IT for SLMS Staff Link to Log-In Area for project documentation

SLMS-AHERF Continuing Professional Development & eLearning Project

UCL has islands of excellence in delivering Continuing Professional Development (CPD) short courses, particularly within the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS). The senior management of the SLMS has conducted a scoping exercise to identify the benefits of better strategic planning, coordination and consistent presentation of the School wide CPD offering. A well presented CPD offering can improve the commercial value of the courses offered, expand the market penetration and enhance the educational reputation of the SLMS and UCL as a whole. In order to maximise the commercial benefits of these courses administrative processes need to be streamlined and applied consistently. A requirement to develop a web based gateway to present the range of courses on offer, easy methods to sign up and pay for course has been identified.

This project will develop SLMS capacity in Continuing Professional Development and distance learning by developing a web based common interface (gateway). The project will encompass both the technical platform and coordinating the development of academic content in association with the academic lead.

The project will act as a pathfinder for wider UCL CPD, distance learning and eLearning delivery tools.

Anticipated business benefits include increased uptake of existing courses, better income generation, savings from reduced administration and enhanced reputation.

IT for SLMS Wi-Fi Expansion

Use of wireless services in SLMS Divisions, Institutes and Departments is in great demand for research due to the increased reliance on online journals, database and other services on a day to day basis.

Historically the provision of wireless access points has been ad hoc, and there is inconsistent coverage. There is a requirement to improve coverage and have a continual program for replacement.

UCL School of Pharmacy Merger – IT & Data Programme

The School of Pharmacy has been bringing health to the world for over 170 years, and as of January 2012 formally merged with UCL. From this date, the staff and students of UCL School of Pharmacy will be able to access the benefits of being part of UCL, and the IT & Data Programme will deliver the initial elements of integration to allow that to happen (Phase 1).

The initial benefits this programme will enable are:

  • All staff & students can access UCL Libraries.
  • All staff & students can access UCL online eResources.
  • All staff & students have a ID card, userid and email account. 

From January to August 2012, further systems integration work will take place (Phase 2), which means that by the 2012/13 academic year UCL School of Pharmacy will use the standard UCL systems and processes across Registry, HR, Finance, Estates, Libraries and Alumni Relations; with further benefits enabled in the rationalisation of systems & licences with the Informations Services Division.