Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership picks openEHR platform

Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership has chosen an openEHR platform for its regional medicines record.

After being awarded the contract, Better will support the Partnership in delivering the record to a population of 1.8 million, through both its openEHR platform and Better Meds software.

The aim is to integrate services across the region, by adopting a ‘centrally managed system’ that will offer a ‘shared medicines record’ when patients are transferred to different health providers across the area. It is part of the region’s wider strategy to use a patient-centred platform and consolidated medicines record that can be accessed by healthcare professionals in any of the region’s care settings.

The platform intends to bring together records from a range of settings, such as primary care, secondary care, mental health, care homes, and hospices. The medicines information will also be available at the point of care, and the open platform approach will allow for an ‘instant read-write capability’ to get a real-time view of medicines administration.

According to Better, the platform will also bring additional benefits such as ‘understanding medicines reconciliation in transfers of care’, and will help to improve patient safety.

Andrew Thompson, Acting Digital Health Lead and CTO at Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “Like many developing Integrated Care Systems, we have a range of disparate data sets all over the region, embedded in different systems. This makes it very hard for effective sharing of information and has the potential for issues if a patient is transferred across care settings.

“We know that adopting a more unified approach, utilising open data standards, will mean our patients will have a better experience and safer, more effective care. This approach fundamentally aligns with the direction of travel detailed in the new NHSE data strategy – Data saves lives.”

Matthew Cox, Managing Director of Better UK and Ireland, added: “In an individual hospital setting, you can manage the data within your organisation using a single system. But if a patient is transferred from one care setting to another, there is a significant chance of an error being introduced into the person’s prescriptions, which could have very serious consequences.

“As we move to regional care under Health and Care Partnerships, it is vital that the current interoperability issues impacting on the NHS are tackled. We are proud that Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Care Partnership has chosen Better to support them in resolving this challenge in their region.”

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust went live with the company’s OPENeP last year, to digitise its e-prescribing and medications management across its surgical services, and was also set to integrate key systems using the Better openEHR. While, just earlier this month, Digital Health and Care Wales awarded Better a two-year contract, after selecting its openEHR data platform through an 18-month review process.