The NHS in England is making steady progress towards a digital-first service – a connected service where patient information is shared securely with healthcare professionals, across multiple settings, to support better care.
A collaboration of eight CCGs in north west London is taking a joined-up approach to delivering this by creating a single record for each patient, using information from the range of care providers involved in an individual’s treatment.
The North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups (NWL) is made up of eight CCGs and over 360 GP practices; it works closely with NHS providers and local authority organisations to improve healthcare services for 2.3 million residents across eight London boroughs.
They’re currently undertaking a programme called Whole Systems Integrated Care (WSIC), designed to unify fragmented and inefficient care provision across the boroughs, particularly for patients with long-term conditions. The aim is to create a single record for each patient, using information from a range of care providers involved in each individual’s treatment.
A joined-up approach
This not only enables a more joined-up approach to patient treatment, but also feeds into large-scale analytics’ engines for the development of more effective care and more precise risk management. However, to support such a huge undertaking, the collaboration sought a data management service provider to extract patient information from GP practices across the region so it could be fed into the WSIC service.
The data extraction service takes information from the more than 360 GP practices which operate under the CCGs involved, providing a complete patient history for READ coded clinical patient phenomena – such as occupation, social circumstances, ethnicity and religion, clinical signs, symptoms and observations – recorded in primary care settings, along with prescriptions and demographics controlled by age filters. Data is provided in a uniform format for both EMIS and TPP GP systems.
“The primary care/GP record is absolutely critical to an integrated care record. A patient’s journey starts with primary care and this data forms the master patient index for WSIC, data from all other care settings are then joined to this dataset to create an integrated care record,” Kavitha Saravanakumar, deputy director of business intelligence for NWL CCGs, who oversees the WSIC programme, explains.
The data is then transferred and stored in a data warehouse, with all processes governed by the WSIC Information Sharing Agreement; this legal document ensures that patient information is stored and used legally and in line with national data security and management standards.
The benefits are in the practice
The GP data, extracted and managed by Apollo a data management service provider to the NHS and part of connected healthcare specialist Wellbeing Software, is linked with patient activity data from acute, community, mental health and social care settings, along with costing information to support movement towards capitated budgets for new models of care, and to support population health analysis and pathway redesigning, to ensure better care is provided to NWL residents.
“Without Apollo we wouldn’t be able to access the patient records in the EMIS and TPP systems. Our ISA is very explicit in that we have to ensure that patients who have opted out are not contacted and sensitive codes are not accessed,”
A set of analytics’ dashboards are made available to participating clinicians, care professionals and managers across a number of care settings, assisting in managing risk in a more proactive way.
This kind of extraction of patient data from a huge range of GP clinical systems drives more integrated and efficient care across the boroughs, as well as more effective population research – ultimately delivering more tailored and cost-effective care – and boasts a 98% success rate.
So, the questions remain; could your practice use its data better and, would you benefit from a joined-up approach to patient records?