Data-sharing ambitions set out in newly-published sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) have been given a boost by a new strategic partnership between data management specialist, Stalis; and Italy’s largest health IT company, Dedalus.
The link-up looks to make vital patient information, currently stored on dozens or even hundreds of legacy IT systems, accessible for care professionals working in different NHS and public-sector organisations.
The move to new models of care places a fresh emphasis on the role of interoperable patient records across health and social care
Specifically targeted to help achieve digital ambitions set out in STPs, which rely on safe and appropriate data sharing between health and social care organisations, the partnership will use open standards to allow key clinical documents to be shared at scale across entire health economies covering thousands, if not millions, of people.
For example, discharge summaries and transfer of care forms, typically stored as PDFs, will be searchable and retrievable by authorised professionals from a secure data repository.
Information will also be processed to become machine readable, meaning that vital patient data can support clinical decision support.
Stalis’ CareInform system, already in use in the NHS to integrate care records, will be complemented by Dedalus’ X-Value interoperability platform to enable clinicians and care professionals to share clinical documents from multiple care organisations using an open standard called IHE XDS.
Andrew Meiner, managing director at Stalis, said: “The move to new models of care places a fresh emphasis on the role of interoperable patient records across health and social care. Organisations on both sides of the fence are accountable for this data, in terms of how it is managed and shared to support patient care.”
Digitising patient records brings multiple clinical and efficiency benefits, but there is still a challenge ahead in terms of how the NHS maximises its use of data to ensure it is reliable and safe
In a landmark review commissioned by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt; US digital expert Professor Robert Wachter, called for the development and enforcement of standards, along with penalties for suppliers, trusts, GPs, and others who stand in the way of appropriate data sharing.
Meiner added: “Digitising patient records brings multiple clinical and efficiency benefits, but there is still a challenge ahead in terms of how the NHS maximises its use of data to ensure it is reliable and safe.
“Reflecting on our experience of working with many NHS organisations, we see data standards such as IHE XDS providing the much needed infrastructure to share rich data sets to enable integrated care.”
The partnership will combine Dedalus’s global IT experience and capabilities with Stalis’s intrinsic knowledge of the NHS and social care market, providing a proposition that supports the interoperability objectives STPs and the digital local roadmaps.
NHS Digital warned in November 2016 about the real implications of the absence of interoperability between systems for social care staff. It noted that staff were having to manually input data, did not have real-time access to information, and were spending less time with patients as a result.
The CareInform technology works by collecting and distributing administrative and clinical data, such as reports and workflow items to different health and social care providers’ IT systems. It provides a complete long-term view of a patient’s encounters, health conditions, and treatments, helping to improve planning and coordination for service delivery.
Giorgio Moretti, chief executive of Dedalus, said: “The pressure to deliver integrated care to better serve the needs of patients is increasing day-by-day.
“Meaningful information exchange is of paramount importance to share data and ultimately help to improve clinical outcomes and manage efficiency and costs.
Meaningful information exchange is of paramount importance to share data and ultimately help to improve clinical outcomes and manage efficiency and costs
Dedalus' X-Value platform matches patient IDs from different care settings, effectively merging them together to ensure that patients can be accurately and quickly identified at any point in their care journey.
The company’s technology has been successfully used in China, where its interoperability platform integrates hospital systems with 1,300 health centres in the Daqing region, serving three million citizens; and in the USA, where it enables clinical integration within physician networks.
The partnership’s services are available through G-Cloud and GPSoC as well as the London Procurement Partnership Clinical Digital Information Systems (CDIS) Framework after Stalis was awarded places on all frameworks to help save health and social care providers time and cost in procurement processes.