Clinicians invited to find out how health and care portal built on Orion Health technology will make it easier to access and share vital patient information.

A clinical portal commissioned by four NHS boards covering some of the most remote areas of Scotland has gone live and started to sign-up clinical users.

The North of Scotland Care Portal, built using Orion Health technology, gives staff working in NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Orkney, and NHS Shetland a single view of patient information held in different IT systems across the boards.

Staff who go to the launch event today at Inverness’ Raigmore Hospital will be able to see how the NoS Care Portal will make it easier for care professionals to access patient details, tests, scans and documents, and to share information with colleagues across the region.

Attendees at the launch will be given credentials and support to login for the first time. Jim Docherty, NHS Highland clinical lead for eHealth, said: “This is all about giving clinicians quick and easy access to information.

“The NoS Care Portal takes information from many different systems and displays it all in one place and in context. It will save clinicians a lot of time and should make it much easier to care for patients who need to travel between NHS boards for treatment.” 

The NoS Care Portal has been built using Orion Health’s Clinical Portal, which integrates IT systems and presents a clinically relevant view of the patient data they contain.

In the north of Scotland, this means information currently held in the two patient management systems used by the four NHS boards and the three Scottish Care Information Stores in the region, which hold demographic data, lab results and clinical documents.

Staff will also be able to access images from picture archiving and communications systems and the national Emergency Care Summary.

The next part of the NoS Care Portal programme will make (with appropriate agreements) GP and social care data viewable alongside the acute patient information, while further developments may include the roll-out of Orion Health functionality to manage patient pathways and let clinicians set up collaborative worklists to support team working across the region.

Iain Ross, NHS Highland head of eHealth, said: “The NoS Care Portal went live on 18 December, but we didn’t want an all-singing, all-dancing launch over the busy Christmas period. Nevertheless, we delivered what we said we would deliver, which is a portal that integrates different IT systems, so a user can access one patient record across four NHS board areas.

“Today’s launch is about making sure that clinicians have heard about the portal, and how it can help them to deliver joined-up care. By linking systems across secondary, primary and community care for the first time, our clinicians will have a more complete picture of the patient, so they can make more informed decisions.

“We have many more plans: but it is investment in the regional portal that has got us to this stage, and that will enable us to deliver them.”

The NoS Care Portal, which is hosted by NHS Grampian, has already established a link with the Orion Health Clinical Portal used by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the portal team is talking to two further NHS boards about linking to their Orion Health clinical portals.

This would be in line with the Scottish Government’s latest eHealth Strategy, which aspires to join up IT systems and make greater use of digital technology to support a single integrated health and care patient record.

Gary Birks, general manager UK & I at Orion Health said: “We are pleased to see the NoS Care Portal already supporting the needs of clinicians and their patients so soon after the go-live.

“The portal has been designed around the care priorities of stakeholders, so it’s great to see it starting to deliver on their vision of efficient and effective care for every patient.”

About the North of Scotland Care Portal: Three examples of how the NoS Care Portal will make it easier for clinicians to access and share patient information are:

  • Clinicians will be able to see if a patient has an Emergency Care Summary (including KIS and Palliative Care data) and how complete it is before accessing the ECS, saving time that would be wasted if the information was not there.
  • The NoS Care Portal will display, in the same patient view, radiology reports and lab results conducted at one hospital alongside radiology reports and lab results conducted at another hospital in another NHS Board area, for the first time anywhere in Scotland.
  • Clinicians will be able to access documents started at a service in one board and add to them. Clinicians will be able to see the additions when patients return to their home board.

You can follow developments in digital health and care in the north of Scotland on Twitter @Digicare4North.