News, Secondary Care

New regional portal across North of Scotland

By early 2019, clinicians across the North of Scotland will have access to an integrated digital view of a patient’s health and social care data through a new web-based portal provided by Orion Health.

Jointly commissioned by four boards in the North of Scotland, the new health and social care portal will see information shared from providers in NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland.

Iain Ross, head of eHealth NHS Highland, said: “The regional approach to data sharing that we are taking is driven by clinical priorities, and an understanding of the complexities of delivering joined up care in some of the remotest areas in Europe.

“Our patients flow across the region, but sometimes their data can be slow to follow them. By linking systems across primary, secondary and social care for the first time our clinicians will have the complete picture of a patient, ensuring they can make the most informed decisions. It’s about ensuring that the patient stays at the heart of everything that we do.”

The first phase of the project will see the development of a shared care record using Orion Health’s Population Health platform to present a clinically relevant view of the patient’s record, presenting clinical data from the two Patient Management Systems (PMS) currently used by the four boards; the region’s two SCI Stores; its Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and the Emergency Care Summary data.

It will also allow users to access information contained in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Orion Health Clinical Portal, an essential project requirement, as patients in the North of Scotland regularly receive treatment there.

The second phase, due to be completed by early 2019, will allow users to access information held within the North of Scotland partnering GP practice and social care systems. For the first time care providers in these boards will be able to view joined up health and social care information held on a patient, including any current care plans. By having access to a person’s care plans and subject to the data sharing agreements being in place, the partners believe care teams will have the information to hand to deliver effective care and better manage the hospital discharge process, potentially freeing up secondary care capacity.

Providing clinicians with secure access to a patient’s health and social care information – wherever they are in the North of Scotland will be an important benefit, as many staff increasingly work across the health board boundaries, regularly travelling between the mainland and the Northern Isles.

The portal will be hosted by NHS Grampian and will use Orion Health’s integration engine Rhapsody and its Clinical Data Repository products to support the capture and presentation of data.

Dr Steve Baguley, clinical director of eHealth for NHS Grampian, said: The new health and social care portal will increase the amount of data healthcare professionals will be able to see from day one. This will help us make better assessments of patients and improve care quality. Clinicians have been involved in helping to shape the new portal and are excited by its possibilities. The data integration will be supported by the establishment of strong information governance and data sharing practices, and a regional board to oversee the process.”

Mr Jim Docherty, clinical director for eHealth NHS Highland, said: “The new Elective Care Centre in Inverness will serve patients across the region, providing knee, hip and cataract surgery as well as a full range of ophthalmology services. The closer collaboration and information sharing enabled by the portal will allow more patients across the North of Scotland to benefit from this new facility when it’s completed.”