Residents in the London Borough of Islington will soon be able to benefit from integrated health and social care following the signing of a new contract that will bring information systems together.
The local authority and NHS Islington Clinical Commissioning Group have awarded a five year, £7.4m contract to BT, who will link up the information systems currently in use by Islington’s 10,000 health and social care professionals.
This will underpin the development of a single integrated digital care record for each of the borough’s 206,000 residents, as well as giving them secure access to their own electronic personal health record, helping to deliver a more person-centred, integrated approach to health and social care.
It’s the first time information systems in Islington can work together – or interoperate – and it is a key step towards the government’s target for all patient care records to be digital, real-time and interoperable by the end of 2020 to support the move to more integrated care.
BT will develop a secure integrated digital care record which pulls together data from information systems in different care settings into a single place, to give authorised health and care professionals a more complete view of a person’s care.
This means, for the first time, clinicians and care workers in health and social care in Islington will be able to access all the data they need electronically, giving them more detailed information about all their patients’ encounters with the NHS and social care – and visibility of their entire care pathway.
The new service will help to reduce errors as vital information collected about a person by one organisation, such as allergies, prescription medicines and care plans, can easily be viewed together in one place by health and care workers treating them in other organisations. This information will be presented in a secure manner on the practitioner’s device – whether it be desktop, laptop or tablet.
In addition, patients will also be able to view key information such as test results and upcoming appointments, and share medical information with clinicians and carers.
Systems that can talk
Simon Galczynski, Islington Council’s director of adult social care, said: “We have a great track record of developing innovative health and social care support in Islington.
“However, we will only be able to take this so far without systems that can talk to each other. The current limitations on integrated records are a daily frustration for people who use our health and care services, and for those who work in them. An integrated, person-held record will help connect different parts of health and give the person greater control over their record and who can see it, while ensuring they don’t have to keep giving the same information to each person involved in their care.”
Hosted on BT’s secure platform, the new service is expected to go live in the autumn.