Northern Ireland rolls-out new diabetes pathway

Following the implementation of the Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) by Health & Social Care NI (HSCNI), Orion Health has rolled-out a new Diabetes Pathway across the country.

Following a successful pilot exercise with a small number of users including nurses, consultants and podiatrists, the pathway can now be accessed by all diabetes clinicians across Northern Ireland, improving the treatment and care of more than 100,000 patients across the country.

“We are delighted the new Diabetes Pathway is now live and being used by the multi-disciplinary group of medical professionals involved in caring for patients living with diabetes”, commented Gary Birks, General Manager UK & Ireland for Orion Health. “The Pathway builds upon the rich clinical data available within the NIECR, such as real-time laboratory results, and allows clinicians to access this information easily in one place leading to more effective and efficient patient care. This includes professionals who have often sat on the periphery of information sharing, such as podiatrists.”

Previously clinicians had to use separate systems for paediatric and adult patients and information could not be accessed or interrogated from one trust to the next.  Significant time was required to re-key information from one system to another and reporting was virtually impossible at a national level, making it difficult to establish trends in patient conditions and improve treatment plans going forward.  

The new Diabetes Pathway now allows clinicians and other medical professionals involved in the treatment of patients with diabetes to access accurate and timely information when and where they need it. The need to re-key data is removed, and information can be shared between trusts should a patient move location or data is required for reporting purposes. Clinicians now have a holistic view of their patients, which brings benefits such as being able to factor in treatment for unrelated conditions into their diabetes treatment plan.  

“Diabetes is a chronic illness with serious consequences for patients if they do not receive regular and appropriate treatment.” commented Dr Roy Harper, Senior Endocrinologist, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, “With diabetes diagnoses now double what they were 20 years ago in the UK, the requirement for high quality and timely diabetes treatment is imperative. The new Diabetes Pathway provides clinicians such as myself with this level of information allowing us to be proactive in our care and provide a much better journey for patients, increase their confidence in the treatment plan and improved outcomes in the long run.”

One of the most common complaints from patients was the continual need to repeat their symptoms and conditions to every clinician they met. Now with the Diabetes Pathway, clinicians have this information at their fingertips and they can spend time discussing more important matters with their patients. The system also operates in real time so should a patient attend a foot clinic at their GP surgery the information is immediately available to their consultant within the NIECR portal.