Given time pressures on health and care professionals, gathering patient information required to make the right treatment decisions can be a challenge, particularly when multiple phone calls, faxes and IT systems are involved.

Implementing an Integrated Digital Care Record (IDCR) can help to remove some of these barriers to care. Orion Health is the UK’s largest provider of IDCR’s (also known as clinical portals)[1]. By an IDCR we mean a system which can integrate a citizen’s health and care data from disparate systems across a geography into a single view. From this single view clinicians and care givers can then utilise additional functionality such as care planning, test ordering and referral management.

Moving away from paper records which can only be stored in one place and viewed by one person at a time, Orion Health’s IDCR solution provides seamless data integration and visualisation. This supports professionals across the health and care economy encompassing primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care, pharmacy, out of hours and local councils to make more informed decisions, in a shorter time and provide better patient outcomes.

IDCR’s are central to achieving the ambitions currently set out for the digital agenda. The Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View[2] states that in the next two years the NHS will, ‘Make patients’ medical information available to the right clinicians wherever they are. 'Personalised Health and Care 2020[3]' says that ‘all patient and care records will be digital, real-time and interoperable by 2020.’ With a number of successful programmes established including Connecting Care in Bristol, the Care Integrated Digital Record in Camden and the Northern Ireland Electronic Health Record, the benefits of IDCRs across patient outcomes, efficiency and workflow are well proven.


[1] 23.1% of the UK Clinical Portal market, Digital Health Intelligence August 2017
[2] Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View, March 2017
[3] Personalised Health and Care 2020, 2014

Integrating health and social care in Greater Bristol | Jocelyn Palmer

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