IMS MAXIMS open source option
Here at IMS MAXIMS, we exist to help healthcare organisations reduce clinical errors and improve outcomes for patients. To meet our ambitions in supporting as many providers as possible to deliver better, safer and more efficient patient care, we are making a selection of our solutions available as open source software.
This provides healthcare organisations with another option, in addition to our proprietary solutions that have been built by working closely with clinicians for nearly three decades, in which to procure, implement and access technology to help improve patient care. A key reason for offering open source as an option is that the software has the potential to access a wide audience of users, who will be able to contribute to the development of the code, resulting in better outcomes for patients.
Open source software is recognised by the UK Government as part of a vision for transparency, open data and the move towards delivering safe and integrated care. In September 2016, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, the first UK site to deploy our open source electronic patient record, was named by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, as a Global Digital Exemplar.
A major benefit to using open source software is that any NHS trust in England will be able to modify it to meet their needs.
However, it is important to have a custodian of the software. We can work in partnership to incorporate a trust’s enhancements to ensure that numerous variations of the software are not deployed and to help validate a trust for clinical safety and compliance to NHS standards and the national ‘spine.’
Benefits to healthcare providers
We have been working closely with NHS England and NHS trusts to understand their needs and how open source solutions could support them. Numerous benefits have been identified including:
- clinical empowerment and engagement – increased level of input from clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals on how the software is enhanced and used – important factors in digitising the NHS
- collaboration – the ethos adopted by open source developers is akin to the sharing of medical knowledge amongst clinicians, meaning best practice is not only combined, but promoted
- open access – developments by other clinicians can be added to further improve efficiencies and patient safety through technology
- ownership – trusts have a greater involvement as it becomes their software that they can modify if they wish to
- flexibility – bespoke software enhancements can be driven by healthcare providers
- local control – products can be customised faster at a local level, safe in the knowledge that IMS MAXIMS staff can be on-hand to support if required
- value for money – the initial capital outlay associated with the licensing of off-the-shelf products is reduced.
The latest generation of our MAXIMS suite will become our first open source software product.
This includes a MAXIMS electronic patient record (EPR) with a fully NHS-compliant Patient Administration System (PAS) and a suite of MAXIMS clinical products including order communications and results reporting, integrated care pathways, assessments, clinical noting and documentation as well as specialist functionality supporting areas such as spinal cord injuries, oncology and therapies.
Our wide-range of products are fully integrated and have been built from the ground up in partnership with our NHS customers. This means that healthcare providers can now access years of expertise and investment at no cost.
Why work with IMS MAXIMS?
We are known for being an innovative organisation helping to improve patient outcomes and reduce clinical errors through a flexible and powerful product suite, so moving to an open source model is a natural progression for us.
Engaging with IMS MAXIMS will allow NHS trusts to:
- reduce risk – by making our proven software open and free-of-charge, we are aiming to lower the risk that is sometimes associated with technology deployments. Common concerns such as vendor lock-in, extortionate charges for change requests, and excessive support and maintenance fees, are reduced because trusts have the option to search for other alternative solutions anytime, should they wish to.
- access wider clinical input and industry best practice – by developing open source products, we believe there are new opportunities to enable the NHS to leverage intellect and skills from a wide range of sources, share success and ultimately help to implement more tailored, efficient systems and at a far greater pace.
- work with flexible and reliable software – there is clearly a demand for open source, with healthcare providers driving towards greater software flexibility and less one-size-fits-all pricing agreements. We believe that IT teams and healthcare professionals can enjoy the freedom to build on open source systems on a local level, safe in the knowledge they have the dedicated support of our experienced team if they need it.
- benefit from a responsive and agile support service – our support services provide rapid software changes, with a clinically-driven and flexible approach, making us agile and responsive to customers’ needs.