North Wales Police
UK Police Force
- Prior to installing our first Fotostation back in 1998, all negatives were stored in individual job envelopes in rows and rows of filing cabinets. The only work flow was the daily receiving of films for processing, printing them and then returning the photographs to Police Officers. The negatives were then filed in the unit until required again. There was no easy access to photographs and when ever additional prints were required the negatives had to be retrieved, reprinted and then filed.
- This was a time consuming task that took staff away from what they were best at.
- Due to the size of the force area you could find yourself printing photographs just for an officer to decide if they were going to use them, which was very costly and waste full. Back in the days before 1998 the force IT network was in its infancy and was unable to handle large data files so the only way to make photographs available was to print and post.
Why was FotoWare chosen?
- During 1998 the Force introduced its first e-mail system which allowed us the possibility of sending small images via email to officers. We found that we were scanning the same images over and over again and so looked for a system that would run on a single networked computer and allow us to find the images again. We came across Fotostation 3.5.1 which allowed us to do this, when we purchased a full film scanner
- This was trialed for 30 days and provided easy access to the scanned images which was exactly what we were looking for. Over time we purchased index manager and a couple more fotostations to allow all staff in the imaging unit access to the images
- During 2001 North Wales Police upgraded its minilab which made scanning of films onto the network a lot easier and also purchased fotoweb to allow all crime scene investigators access to there images
- During 2004 the whole unit moved to a new building in St Asaph, and a proper server solution was purchased along with Colorfactory to automate the who imaging work flow from scanning on the minilab to adding meta data from different databases.
- The decision to use Fotoware was made on the grounds that it was modular and we able to purchase and implement the different modules when they were required.
- The main decision maker in the process was Kevin Clark, Imaging Unit manager in consultation with the Force IT manager.
What has changed after FotoWare became a part of the daily workflow?
- The Imaging Unit and Chemical Treatments department use Fotostation to input images to the system and by making the system available Force wide over the Intranet via fotoweb all staff (xxxx) have access to it, with different access levels to images depending on the Job. These Officers are based all over North Wales and are also able to access the system anywhere in the united Kingdom if they have a North Wales Police issued computer and suitable Force access.
- The Imaging unit does over 90% of the inputing of images via Fotostation and also all the printing that is required. Other specialist units use fotoweb to view and preview images and where necessary add text to each image. All other staff have the ability to view and preview images that they have access to.
- We have created links between Fotoware and Locard our Force Forensic Management system, so that if there is a film exhibit with in locard the user is given a link to view the relevant photographs, in turn Locard is linked to the Force Records Management system, giving a nearly seem less interface. Fotoware is used as a Force wide image store with other smaller systems also interfacing with it.
- We have the whole package of products which has allowed us to cope with increased workloads whilst still maintaining the same high quality service that the Force Demands. We now have a system that is available 365 days a year, which means that Police Officers can view images they need to see at anytime. This has solved the problem of having to print images and send them around the Force only to find they weren’t needed., reducing costs and providing a more efficient service
- With images now being stored on the server there is now no need to get files of negatives out of the filing system to reprint them, they are there at the press of a button and with the minilab printing module we have the whole process is seamless. One of the benefits of using Fotoweb is that you can control who has access to what images and then there is a full audit trail of who has looked at what image which wasn’t available before.
- Over the last 10 years the workload in the Imaging unit has gone up from just under 4000 films a year to nearly 11000 with the same number of staff. If we didn’t have an image management with workflowing system we would have had to have employed more staff to cope with the increase. By copying information from Locard to the metadata this has eliminated the need to manually add text to each image, it also ensures that the information is the same. Having access to over 1 million images instantly has also speeded up the service that we can provide our customers
- Fotoware has allowed the Imaging Unit to provide a high quality imaging service through out the Force whilst maintaining the integrity of the images. By using then system we have also been able to deal with the increases in workloads without any addition human resources.
Lewisham Case Study
The implementation of Fotoware, Fotostation & MJM – Job management, at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.
We began using Fotostation and MJM- Job management here in the Design and Photography Department at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust , in early April 2014.
Initially when the Fotoware software was pitched to us back in 2013, we had a very different workflow to deal with clinical photography and the storage of images, which was fairly rudimentary and needed improving and modernising. We were also in the process of merging with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich which brought up new issues and challenges as we would soon be working across two departments on two sites, both with very different systems in place regarding the management ofclinical images.
Fotostation appeared to offer us the best solution to working across two sites, in that we could centralise the storage of images on secure hospital servers while adding a much greater amount of information to the images via the metadata. This was invaluable in ensuring that patient photographs are correctly labelled with patient details, what we were photographing, who the photographer was, when the patient was photographed and where they were photographed as well as what consent level they had agreed to, which from an Information Governance point of view was ideal.
During the pitch for the Fotostation software we were also shown the Media Job Management System (MJM). At first we did not fully understand the potential relationship between Fotostation and MJM. We believed the main focus of what we wanted to achieve with the management of clinical images would be based solely on Fotostation and saw MJM as an addition, which may or may not be useful. It turned out this wasn’t the case.
Once the systems were brought online it was immediately obvious that the management of clinical images was as much about managing jobs as managing the images themselves. By using MJM and Fotostation together, it was possible to log all the necessary details that need to be documented for clinical images in MJM, then transfer that data directly to the images of the patients in Fotostation. This ensured that the correct and consistent information was being gathered and applied to all clinical photography across both sites in our organisation.
Using MJM with Fotostation also allowed us to look up details regarding an individual patients’ photographs without having to go in to the Fotostation software. This was just one of many other benefits such as being able to add notes to the job, so that we could include information that wouldn’t normally be stored in the metadata on an image, like when and where the photographs were sent out, to which department and whether or not the patient required a copy. We could also then use MJM to run reports on how many patients were referred to us and from which clinic, so that we could invoice those departments – using the built in invoicing system in MJM – and keep a complete record of the job in one easily accessible place, from the moment the patient came to us, until the moment the referring clinic was invoiced.
MJM also proved useful in the way that we manage design jobs in the department. In the same way that we logged each patient as a job in MJM, we began to log design jobs so that we could keep a track of any given task from start to finish. Using MJM allowed us to keep accurate records of what we had produced and the quantities needed. This ensured that we were invoicing people for the correct amounts and less jobs were being missed or forgotten which could sometimes happen when, for example, a client had relayed information by phone and some notes were written down on a piece of paper that could no longer be found.
During the merger process at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, it became apparent that the Reprographics Department would also sit better with the Design and Photography Department, so we expanded further. This meant that we were now working across three departments on two sites. We rolled out the use of MJM to the Reprographics department so that we could keep a track of not only Clinical Photography and Design jobs, but all the jobs coming in to Reprographics as well. As MJM is web based and customisable, we could quickly create a new job type with all the necessary fields in order to enter the required information that Reprographics required. We could then create user logins for the Reprographics staff so that they could start working on the system straight away.
We found that we needed extra elements and buttons included within MJM to be able to manage and invoice the incredibly diverse range of jobs that we undertake. Also we required extra features to be able to display and organise different job types within the completed job view and have found that the search function when running reports needed to have an extra filter to be able to pick out a specific category of clinical photographs.
Using MJM we are able to keep track of the all the various jobs going on in three different specialities on two busy hospital sites. It allows us take control of very different workflows and monitor them from one central place. Ultimately we have found that MJM has become an integral part of the way we work.
Kings College Hospital NHS Trust -
Kings College Hospital is the latest user of FotoWare Software linked to MJM (Media Job Manager). The trust already links the patient record metadata to the system assets using HL7 messages and database integration. The combination of the two products makes tracking jobs easy and coupled with the fact that orders can be placed from any terminal within the trust infrastructure gives consultants the flexibility to work in any environment.