More than one million people live in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (a region covered by the BNSSG NHS), and their health is cared for by a similarly impressive number of organisations.
Over one million people live in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). The BNSSG area is home to three Local Authorities, three CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups), 97 GP practices and nine provider organisations plus supporting organisations including the West of England Academic Health Science Network, NHS South, Central & West Commissioning Support Unit and Bristol Health Partners.
Patients in BNSSG are often cared for by a number of different organisations, even when receiving treatment for a single condition. For health and social care providers in BNSSG, a lack of joined-up patient information was impacting on the efficiency, quality and safety of care. A “lack of information was often being cited as a ‘blocker’ to providing high quality care,” explains Andy Kinnear, chair of the Connecting Care programme. “In our local area, we have multiple organisations employing multiple professionals. It is a complex situation but for the person seeking care, that complexity is irrelevant. It is simply a source of frustration when the professional they encounter does not have timely access to the right information needed to provide the best possible care.”
Senior staff in a number of local health and social care organisations were committed to providing a more integrated service to their patients; ensuring that when a patient transfers from one organisation to another, the experience is seamless.
The Connecting Care programme rose out of this necessity, and was developed to share health and social care information between 18 organisations across BNSSG.
In March 2013, Orion Health was selected from over 40 suppliers to implement an integrated digital care record through its Clinical Portal technology. Clinical Portal enables clinicians and care givers to access patient records across systems, locations, and organisations; and provides the tools to support patient care. Alongside NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI), existing disparate information systems are integrated, providing a single, seamless view of patient data. Although the patient record is a summary, it includes a wide range of information, including medications, diagnoses, allergies, test results, hospital attendances, social care and mental health contacts, out of hours encounters, community health information and end of life wishes.