Transformation Directorate

Interoperability between all ophthalmic imaging devices and electronic patient records in the hospital eye service

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest integrated care providers in England, serving a population of around 600,000 people.


Ophthalmic patient notes were hand-written and often incomplete, illegible or incorrectly filed. Clinical teams had to compare information stored in several different locations within the records and separate imaging systems. Repeat visits were often required, as access to data across sites was not available. Clinic letters would regularly take four to six weeks to send out following a consultation and auditing of the service was near impossible.


The Trust recognised that it needed a new electronic medical record (EMR) system to overcome these challenges.

Solution and impact

The Trust turned to Medisoft EPR and OphthalSuite integrated clinical data system to provide a more reliable and efficient approach. Outcomes include:

  • Having instant access to all the necessary information has helped to improve clinical care and is particularly helpful in the eye casualty department
  • Disease progression can be assessed quickly and easily. Images and scans can be compared with a few mouse clicks, and charts highlight changes in treatment and how these affect outcomes
  • The system assists clinical decision-making and helps to identify and minimise human error
  • Audits can be produced with just a few clicks and all clinical information can easily be reviewed from any location, allowing outcomes reporting, research, and service demand forecasting
  • Automatic generation of letters and prescriptions has led to an increase in capacity as well as direct cost savings
  • The Trust’s carbon footprint has been reduced
  • Patient notes and images can be reviewed if they telephone the unit, eliminating delay and leading to a better, safer service


  • OphthalSuite is an integration platform for ophthalmology that connects all devices to a centralised database, regardless of the manufacturer
  • It connects to the existing medical records management system of the hospital and is compatible with all devices and investigation types, including Optos ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging, optical coherence tomography (OCT), Visual Fields, and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA)


  • Web-based service so can be accessed anywhere on any EMR
  • Clinicians can access exam results in real time
  • Navigate easily through the patient exams
  • View all images with full quality
  • View graphical evolution of numeric values
  • Comparing exams taken in different periods, side by side or in mosaic, and thus assess the progression of the condition


  • It connects to the existing medical records management system of the hospital and it 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

Key figures/quotes 

  • “One of the best investments the ophthalmology department has ever made.” Mr Saju Thomas, consultant ophthalmic surgeon
  • “Ophthalmology staff are able to concentrate on patient care, rather than worrying about missing information.” Paul Thurland, head of service, surgery and diagnostics

Find out more

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

Watch this video to learn more about Medisoft

Key contact

Mr Saju Thomas, consultant ophthalmic surgeon