Interview Series: Marc Warburton, Chief Executive of InfoFlex

In our latest interview we spoke with Marc Warburton, Chief Executive of InfoFlex a pioneering digital healthcare solution provider for both clinicians and patients, and we asked a few questions. 

What is unique about your organisation?

InfoFlex, formerly known as CIMS, has dedicated itself to supporting the NHS since 1995. Our staff have a unique understanding of healthcare clinical processes, integration with other healthcare IT systems and how to successfully implement digital healthcare solutions that support clinicians and management in their day-to-day clinical practice.

Our consistently high level of staff retention has enabled us to continue to grow our expertise – to the customer’s benefit. Today InfoFlex data management systems offer a unique implementation methodology that allows customers to be directly involved in the configuration of the solution they need to support both patient care and management.

The InfoFlex product range allows clinical processes to be iteratively modelled without recourse to programming, until the desired solution is configured. This unique approach is made possible by the InfoFlex product suite which has successfully being used to provide highly functional digital healthcare solutions for over 65 clinical specialties in more than 130 acute trusts. At a time when integrated digital healthcare solutions are urgently required, InfoFlex is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge by providing leading edge solutions for the benefit of patients and clinicians.

What is the most significant achievement for your organisation in the past 12 months and what will be over the next 12 months?

The NHS’s Living With and Beyond Cancer programme, providing the required long term support for cancer patients, is a key national initiative. We are proud to have been able to support this initiative by continuing to roll out highly successful stratified pathway digital solutions to NHS trusts for the benefit of both patients and clinicians. The next year’s focus is to further support this initiative as well as implement virtual clinic and remote monitoring solutions in other clinical specialties to help reduce outpatient appointments, a key target for hospitals across the NHS.

Furthermore, developing case studies from trusts that utilise InfoFlex widely across their organisations, such as Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has re-enforced the benefits our solutions can provide once ‘in action’. These trusts are benefitting on a daily basis from the functionality available within the InfoFlex product, which is very satisfying to see.

What problems and challenges are there to overcome?

Providing integrated care that brings together the various organisations involved in a patient’s care is a key challenge for the NHS. One of the key enablers for this to happen is IT and providing best of breed solutions that can effectively integrate with each other is fundamental. The ability to easily transfer and share patient data securely between systems is at the centre of this challenge and InfoFlex is ready to meet it.

Engaging clinicians in the use of digital healthcare solutions is a key issue that can only be achieved if they are provided with solutions that provide them with immediate benefits. Being able to model their workflow processes and tailor the solution to meet their specific needs, as well as their organisation’s and national standards, is essential. Using a solution like InfoFlex that caters for multiple clinical specialties thereby allowing trusts to standardise their clinical data collection in one solution and which can integrate with other key trust IT systems is key to achieving this clinical engagement.

What do you think is the biggest technology challenge?

The biggest technological challenge facing the NHS is the sharing of clinical data recorded in a multitude of separate systems. Patients expect their data to be shared by clinicians across clinical specialties and healthcare organisations when and where needed to support their care. Standardisation of data sharing is key and healthcare IT systems must be able to support the real-time exchange of any data required to support patient care. The standards are defined and need to be a priority for any clinical system supplier to implement, as we have successfully done.

What advice would you give to other organisations or professionals?

Integration and interoperability should be the focus of all healthcare system suppliers. Clinical data can no longer be locked in disparate systems if the supplier community is to successfully support the aims of the NHS to improve patient care.

What is next in your space?

Fully integrated clinical portals and dashboards for patients, clinicians and management are essential to support patient care. InfoFlex has all the functionality required to provide this for all clinical specialities. Patients need access to their data and become part of the clinical data collection process, not just for patient questionnaires, but to communicate directly with the clinicians involved in their care. InfoFlex is ready to occupy that space and provide the integrated care solution required to support this.

What are you working on at the moment?

InfoFlex is currently focussing on implementing portals in key clinical areas such as Cancer, IBD, Parkinson’s disease and Rheumatology, as well as supporting the Integrated Care agenda through data sharing projects. We are building upon the success of our existing customers as demonstrated by our published Case Studies. We plan on increasing the InfoFlex footprint throughout our customer base.