News, News in Brief

News in brief: Hertfordshire selects Civica, The Christie’s new data platform, Derby and Burton’s closed loop medication supply

September has flown past in a flash, as the team at HTN hosted the latest edition of HTN Now. If you missed our four days’ worth of live events, you can already catch up on some of the videos and session reviews through the website. If the webcast you were hoping for isn’t there yet, don’t worry, we’ll be releasing more as we head into October.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard of so much news from across health tech that we wanted to share. Here are some of the headlines that may have escaped you – and us – across the past week or so, through our news in brief…

Hertfordshire picks Civica Prescribing

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) has selected Civica Prescribing as its new prescribing cloud software.

HPFT serves over 400,000 people with mental and physical ill health and learning disabilities across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and North Essex, but its prescribing and medicines information is currently managed on paper. With this in mind, the trust has decided to implement an EPMA system to use across all its services, and to integrate with its existing Electronic Patient Record and pharmacy system to achieve a ‘closed loop’ across medicine prescribing, supply and administration.

The new five-year contract forms part of HPFT’s digital transformation programme and, as well as integrating with the pharmacy system, the Prescribing software will also link with the NHS Electronic Prescription Service in the future.

Hakan Akozek, Chief Information Officer at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our vision is to work together with our service users, their families and carers to achieve the best possible outcomes for everyone who needs our care. Civica Prescribing will help our front-line staff operate more efficiently, reducing risk via safer prescribing and increasing safety for our service users.”

Derby and Burton hits integration milestone

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust says it has implemented an NHS ‘closed loop’ medication supply, using FHIR standards.

Aiming to improve the safety and speed of hospital pharmacy processes, the trust and software company Dedalus have announced their latest integration milestone for the CareSuite EPR solution, following integration between the EPMA module and the pharmacy stock control system.

According to the trust and Dedalus, this integration between the CareSuite EPR and the pharmacy department creates a ‘closed loop medication supply’ process which will improve clinical safety and operational efficiency. The new digitised process allows clinicians to electronically prescribe medication, which is then automatically routed to the pharmacist for checking and passed on to the dispensing system so that the medicine can be issued.

The closed loop supply process is ‘end-to-end’ and makes use of a dispensing robot to ensure the correct medication is picked. Once double checked, the medication is then sent to the ward with labelling for the specific patient. The process is underpinned by the use of ‘recognised healthcare standards’ including structured FHIR-based messaging and SNOMED CT drug terminology, and Dedalus claims to be the first EPR system vendor in the UK to use the NHS strategic FHIR interoperability standards to deliver in a live setting.

Debbie Loke, Interim Director of IT/CIO, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Implementing a new EPR is always a challenge, as processes change and cognitive load adds additional burden to our clinical and administrative teams.  Being able to support our clinical teams with these developments is not only rewarding for those using the system but ultimately provides a better service for our patients, getting them quicker access to their drugs in order that they can return to their homes and families.  This is a great example of partnership working with system suppliers and clinical teams that improves care.”

The Christie chooses Better platform to support EHR modernisation

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has chosen Better to provide a Digital Health Platform that supports ‘low-code development’ and an ‘openEHR data platform’. This will support the modernisation of the Christie’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the transformation of clinical, patient and cancer research services.

The trust has developed its own in-house EHR across the last decade but, in the last 18 months, a modernisation programme has accelerated the development of new architecture and functionality.

With the ‘data capture elements’ of the EHR coming to end of life, the trust is aiming to ‘re-platform’ its forms engine to modern technology and has selected Better’s Digital Health Platform for this purpose. It’s hoped the move will help the trust to unlock rich data that will be structured in an open format, accessible in real-time and provide a low-code forms environment with a modern user and mobile-supported interface.

Other aims include using the low-code environment to support the acceleration of the EHR programme and to streamline and migrate over 600 clinical forms onto the new platform, while it’s hoped that using openEHR to separate the data layer will provide a ‘core foundation for unifying cancer data’ into ‘one patient centric longitudinal record’ to improve direct care and structured storage of clinical data for research and innovation.

The combined use of open FHIR APIs is also set to support integration with regional and national partners and, long-term, the aspiration is to integrate other applications into the vendor neutral data layer.

Eileen Jessop, Chief Information Officer, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Modernisation of our EHR platform and unlocking the power of data is a key part of the strategy to lead the development of cancer research. The ability to innovate at pace and easily integrate locally and regionally will ensure the trust stays at the forefront of specialist cancer treatment and research.”

Winners announced in global competition around healthy ageing innovation

UK winners were among those announced in an international competition called the ‘Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge’, with successful innovations and ideas including a robotic ‘knee’, the use of mixed reality to tackle loneliness, and smart-home monitoring of vision to help prevent ‘avoidable blindness’.

The global winners were announced in the US last week and, although funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the healthy ageing challenge in the UK, the winners from the Home Nations are also part of the aforementioned US National Academy of Medicine (NAM)’s Healthy Longevity global competition.

UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Catalysts Awards, which fund research and innovation in healthy ageing, and are designed to ‘harness the most innovative, cutting edge and blue-sky ideas’ to create ‘practical, scalable products and services’.

The full list of international winners from the US competition includes ideas such as glasses for the blind that mimic the same features as a guide dog, a ‘patch-type sensor’ for early detection of frailty, and a ‘multi-sensor wearable system’ with personalised AI to help improve balance.

UKRI healthy ageing challenge director, George MacGinnis, said: “By 2040 one in seven people in the UK will be 65 or older. We should be able to enjoy those extra years of life yet currently we can expect to live just half of the remainder of our lives without disability.

“We want researchers, particularly those with an entrepreneurial spirit, to develop and deliver ideas to help all of us to stay active, productive and socially connected across the generations both now, and as we get older. This year’s winners include imaginative approaches to both the physical and social aspects of ageing and to issues that affect wider society.”

The Catalyst Awards are providing 60 grants for academics who are based at UK research organisations to ‘explore new, innovative, ideas with the potential to transform the physical, mental or social well-being of people across the world as they age.’

Find out more about the Catalyst Awards, or view the full list of international Healthy Longevity winners, here.