When a consultant is able to access detailed records about a diabetes patient, they don’t need to spend valuable contact time asking the patient to remember their complex medical history, changing drug regimes and adverse reactions – they only have limited time with each patientWhen a consultant is able to access detailed records about a diabetes patient, they don’t need to spend valuable contact time asking the patient to remember their complex medical history, changing drug regimes and adverse reactions – they only have limited time with each patient.
The integration of automated systems is now saving healthcare professionals (HCPs) from having to re-key information between departmental systems, removing paper based patient records and negating the need for them to have to print documents such as letters – helping to achieve the Five Year Forward View’s promise of a paperless NHS by 2020. The time saved is also being spent providing additional healthcare services and seeing more patients.
Separate deployments of technology solve individual problems but joining systems together generates far greater value.
Diamond, Hicom’s diabetes patient management system, allows NHS Trusts to capture records of patients, analyse progress and monitor improvements in well-being, not only for an individual but for the whole cohort of patients.
On its own merit, this is a significant benefit. Furthermore, Diamond has built-in audit tools that allow clinical units to easily and swiftly export and submit data to the National Diabetes Audit (NDA), which aggregates and reports on results at a national level. This gives visibility to the wider healthcare community and allows each unit to compare their performance against that of others. In addition, submissions to support the application for funding under the Best Practice Tariff (BPT) allow each unit to demonstrate mandated levels of patient contact and secure funding for their unit that creates a virtuous circle – more funding helps increase resource levels and improves patient care, which in turn attracts further funding. So far so good.
However, if Diamond is linked to the hospital Patient Administration System (PAS) then significant time savings and higher levels of accuracy can be achieved. This is a result of staff no longer having to re-enter patient demographic and appointment data. Crucially, clerical overhead is reduced, meaning other resources can be deployed from within the existing budget. The same goes for integration with the hospital pathology system – sample results come straight from the pathology system, quickly, accurately and with no need for human interaction and therefore potential for error is eliminated.
This is already happening for the vast majority of Diamond customers, with additional interfaces to digital dictation and document management solutions augmenting the capability of the core system.
Similarly, Hicom’s hosted paediatric diabetes patient management system, Twinkle, achieves the same levels of integration. From local to national level.
When NHS Trusts extend what is happening at a local level and look at the bigger picture, they can see how information for a country looks, and how one segment of a patient’s record fits into their entire health record. For example, in July 2013, Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland introduced the Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR), a digital care record that brings together key information from health and social care records from throughout Northern Ireland in a single, secure computer system.
The NIECR has over 24,000 registered users and around 14,000 are active in any given week. Since October 2015, interfaces from Hicom have enabled NIECR to be populated with data captured through the diabetes information management systems of the five trusts that deliver healthcare services in Northern Ireland, which incorporate Twinkle and Diamond records. Northern Ireland HSC trusts have already received positive feedback from across both primary and secondary care who have been using the electronic care record.
In February 2015, a survey of 2,300 respondents was conducted and found that 31.5 per cent of users had gained 30 minutes a day since using the integrated system, in addition to the benefits of shared decision making.
Connecting the dots
Straight through processing has been a concept in the finance sector since the 1990s and applies well in healthcare too. The model of recording, reporting on and processing all the data required to run a clinic has been in operation in the private healthcare arena for at least ten years. Hicom has been working with world class organisations in the UK and abroad on such systems, which handle scheduling, resource management and rostering, clinical coding, all the way through to patient surveys and billing.
High levels of integration with medical devices mean that test results and reports are instantly available for clinicians to review in real time, improving both patient flow and satisfaction by reducing the need for follow up appointments. Bracketed by e-referrals at inception and automated e-claims after treatment has finished, Hicom’s Enterprise solutions deliver maximum efficiency. When investment is made in carefully connected and coordinated IT infrastructure, NHS trusts will see substantial value for both staff and patients.
Published in Health Business