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UCLH Transforms Patient Data To Support Digitalization Goals

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



Integrate and Innovate With All Data Types



Migration Services provided by Hitachi Vantara Global Services



Transform current and legacy patient data into an HL7 data format for migration to new electronic health record system.



Custom and cost-effective solution built on open Pentaho Data Integration platform accelerated data transformation.


  • Efficiently migrating data across from old systems to new EHRS.
  • Minimizes cost and complexity of digital transformation.

The Challenge: Digitalize Diverse Patient Records

A new generation of technologies is transforming healthcare – from enabling advanced medical research to providing clinicians with a 360-degree view of patients. While many healthcare organizations have started their digital journeys, there are still many technologies and integrations going untapped. As a result, staff productivity, cost savings and patient outcomes are being impacted.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) wants to ensure it maximizes the full potential of digitalization as quickly as possible. In 2018, UCLH embarked on an ambitious project to replace most of its diverse legacy systems and paper records with a single, integrated electronic health record. 

Thanks to the Hitachi Vantara team, the data was successfully migrated ready for go-live.

- David Kwo, Director of EHRS and Informatics, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“The goal of our electronic health record system (EHRS) is to give doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals at UCLH access to all the information they need about a patient in a single record, which would help improve efficiency and patient outcomes,” says Director of EHRS and Informatics at UCLH, David Kwo.

UCLH provides acute and specialist services across six hospitals in central London and is one of England’s 20 biomedical research centers. Its 10,000 staff are committed to delivering top-quality patient care, excellent education and world-class research. More than one million patients receive treatment at UCLH every year.

The new EHRS uses the global Health Level Seven International (HL7) standard for data interoperability. “We needed to transform our patient data to the HL7 format before we could migrate it to our new EHRS,” says David Kwo. UCLH needed a simple and rapid solution.

The Solution: Open Platform Simplifies Data Transformation

With no off-the-shelf solutions available, UCLH had to plan for a customized route. The majority of the proposals submitted by potential IT partners involved lengthy and costly programs of work.

One proposal stood out: Hitachi Vantara suggested developing a bespoke solution based on its open Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) platform. “Hitachi Vantara was the only vendor able to transform all our patient data into the HL7 format within our tight timescales,” says Kwo. “The solution proposed was cost-effective, too, which was a real bonus.”

Within four weeks of agreeing on the proposal, Hitachi Vantara had designed, developed and tested the solution. It featured:

  • A custom-built Pentaho connector, which enabled UCLH to transform diverse current and legacy patient data sets into the required HL7 format. This included data associated with its master patient index, clinical data, pathology data, epilepsy data, historical procedures and outpatient encounters.
  • A custom-built graphical user interface (GUI), which allowed UCLH’s data engineers to easily define the message types that would need to be transformed into the HL7 format.

As the go-live date for the new EHRS approached, UCLH also enlisted Hitachi Vantara’s help with the final stages of the data migration. Two Pentaho-focused consultants worked as part of the UCLH data engineering team, sharing their extensive data cleansing and data migration expertise to support the implementation of the EHRS and keep to key deliverables and timelines. “

The Outcome: Successful Migration of Data in Time To Support a Safe Go-Live

By partnering with Hitachi Vantara, UCLH launched its state-of-the-art EHRS on time, giving healthcare professionals access to patient information in a single record.

Working with Hitachi Vantara UCLH was able to migrate patient data from multiple data sets to a centralized platform via standardized HL7 messages.

The intuitive GUI in combination with the extensible Pentaho platform means UCLH data engineers are confident that they will be able to transform other legacy data formats to HL7 with ease if ever the need arises.

Supported by Hitachi Vantara, UCLH has successfully taken that critical step in migrating patient data from fragmented legacy systems to a single electronic health record. “Transforming our data to the HL7 format was a small yet critical component of our EHRS project,” says Kwo. “Thanks to the Hitachi Vantara team, the data was successfully migrated ready for go-live.”

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