Digital Ecosystem in Healthcare

As a cornerstone for transitioning to population-based, public health-oriented healthcare organisations, integrated care systems (ICSs) serve as bodies to tackle inequalities in access to healthcare, improve the well-being and productivity on a regional scale while reducing costs.

As populations age, the needs of both patients and the sector become complex. This further convolutes the clinical workflows on an individual and a specialty level within the region. Alongside the increasing patient volumes seeking care and a growing backlog of patients awaiting specialist care, there is a need for efficient solutions to support patient pathway and workflow management.

At Open Medical, we believe that a functional digital ecosystem, supported by a complete toolbox of suitable, interoperable solutions is the best way that ICSs can achieve true patient-centred digital healthcare transformation and maturity.

Open Medical’s Unique Position

With experience in region-wide digital pathway design and implementation across multiple clinical specialties, Open Medical is uniquely positioned to support ICSs in achieving this ambitious goal. Our team consists of experienced clinicians and consultants actively practising in various NHS fields, with a deep understanding of many of the challenges that sectors are facing. Our blended clinical and in-house engineering team actively seek possibilities for improvements in clinical pathways and workflows, collaborating with our NHS partners to understand their problems, objectives, barriers, and existing ecosystems. We take pride in co-designing clinical pathways that are digitally mature, scalable, future-proofed, and focused on evidence generation and data-driven ongoing improvements in care. Our workflow solutions are therefore designed to solve the individual needs expressed by our NHS partners and are used in over 100 NHS sites, with over 2 million patient pathways processed to date.

Taking workflow to the next level includes further expanding the scope to provide true end-to-end solutions from referral to discharge, connecting fragmented care with pathways that span multiple stakeholders and transcending large geographical boundaries or even entire organisations within the region. Connecting workflows across primary, secondary and tertiary care with a digitally mature pathway design requires multiple integrations to reduce clinician and administrative workforce disengagement. Even though there have been prior, and indeed ongoing, attempts to create interoperable cloud-based hospital workflow systems, such attempts have yet to achieve the objective of truly connecting care across the different levels in a streamlined and user-centred way. Our Pathpoint platform, a customisable, tailored and integrated clinical workflow and pathway management platform, aims to help achieve just that: connected care throughout the entire patient journey.

What Comes After Implementation?

Open Medical recognises that digital transformation is a process that cannot happen overnight. It is far more than just software installation. Indeed, software installation alone without process transformation risks making technology a barrier, rather than an enabler, to patient care. Instead, we are mindful about every step of the process, from design to post-implementation support and communication. Just as we bring tailored solutions, we also evolve and adapt our pathways along the way in response to user requirements, such as changes to models of care provision in line with best practice. Moreover, we make sure to constantly innovate our product to match the needs of the ever-changing healthcare landscape.

By definition, a future-proof clinical pathway must be inherently flexible for the changes and requirements the future holds. An unparalleled trait of Pathpoint is the ability to capture, at the point of entry, granular clinical data. The significance of granular information derives from the ease with which such data can be extrapolated for both patient outcome and research purposes. A standardised set of granular data allows for a better prognostic estimate in different settings while also identifying key parameters that can help automate pathway progression. A fundamental milestone of future proofing is continuous self-improvement that our product inherits thanks to its architectural design, which in turn contributes to patient and clinician satisfaction and better outcomes in healthcare delivery, as well as better business intelligence gathering and future service planning for ICS leaders.

Case Study: Pathpoint eDerma - More Than Teledermatology

In line with the goals of the NHS to achieve a sustainable and efficient healthcare model across England, a true digital ecosystem can set an ICS up to improve patient outcomes, directly contributing to a higher quality of care and greater digital success. In this context, our Pathpoint eDerma platform allows for remote triaging using a teledermatology software and thus places patients into appropriate pathways at the point of triage. Currently, thousands of patients are virtually triaged via eDerma, which has actualised unprecedented teledermatology practices. Delivering regional end-to-end dermatology pathways across numerous regions and significantly reducing the average referral to assessment time to 24 hours.

In Luton and Dunstable University NHS Foundation Trust, eDerma has actualised a nurse-led initial triaging of skin lesions via a digital dermatoscope and a camera, which has significantly reduced the referral to assessment and assessment to decision time. Specifically, assessment time of the lesion was down to 6 minutes with 100% clinician satisfaction rate, leading to a net £132,000 cost savings. Efficient and optimised clinical workflows are going to lay the groundwork for the ICS infrastructure. In this context, a clinician’s journey in patient management is crucial for overall success. Data from our partner Trusts and hospitals clearly point to how Pathpoint saves healthcare resources including clinicians’ time.

Another example of a successful regional teledermatology service is across Our Healthier South East London ICS. The South East London Telederm service was born out of the need to improve efficiency of service delivery across the 3 participating Trusts, leveraging the specialist teams to triage patients across all Trusts.

In the SEL model, the patient clinical referral information is collected via the live Pathpoint integration with e-RS. The clinical history and patient consent is collected via a dynamic questionnaire sent directly to the patient and stored in Pathpoint, while the lesion images are collected and uploaded by the medical photography teams during the patient visit to a scheduled photography clinic. The system then does a large part of the admin work by automating hypertemplated patient letters, sending out outcomes and questionnaires. This model transcends organisational barriers by connecting different healthcare providers in the region.

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