System C welcomes national debate on integrated care
13th September 2011
System C welcomes news that the Government has appointed the Future Forum to take forward the national debate on the scope for integrating care both within the NHS and across health and social care.
The Future Forum – a group of health experts set up to hold the listening exercise on the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS – last week started consulting clinicians and patients on the integration of care and on the use of information.
“System C and McKesson are engaged in a massive drive to deliver integrated services across health and social care, providing detailed patient-level information for care professionals and for patients themselves”, said Dr Ian Denley, senior vice president of System C, a subsidiary of McKesson Corporation.
Together, System C and McKesson UK have a unique breadth of product offering in the health and social care market, including the Medway range of hospital systems, Liquidlogic social care solutions and CarePlus Child Health. System C is also one of the pioneers of the interoperability initiative using the Department of Health Interoperability Toolkit (ITK).
“In our contacts with customers, we have seen many instances of innovative thinking in this area. A national debate on integration, and the pooling of experience to date, will help clarify and accelerate the process of integration”, Dr Denley added.
The drive to achieve care integration at System C and McKesson is directed at the following major areas:
- Improved communications between GPs and the acute sector
GP Portal, a web-based application developed by System C, gives GPs access to information held within the Medway PAS/EPR about patients registered at their practice (hospital activity, orders and results, correspondence, alerts etc).
- System C has also integrated Medway with EMIS Web. Over 100 GP practices in Liverpool, representing 450,000 patients, are linked in this way to clinicians working in the city’s urgent care services.
e-Health projects such as the use of portals to support patient choice and the personalisation agenda. For example, Barnsley Council is using the Liquidlogic CAF portal to allow social care clients to view relevant support services and manage their personalised care accounts on-line. The ‘Care Fund Calculator’ is a personalisation tool which allows local authorities, care commissioners and providers to get an understanding of care costs and staff support required to meet an individual’s needs, and to help agree a price appropriate to those needs. Development of the Medway Patient Portal is at the pilot stage.
- Use of dashboards and business intelligence products to collect, present and analyse patient-level information as part of the tailored care agenda.
- A national urgent care clinical dashboard, developed by System C, has helped Bolton PCT to reduce A&E attendances and non-elective admissions (against a pattern of regional increases) and to cut non-elective admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions by 20%.
- Linking health and social care
A huge development effort is underway on integrating the Medway acute product set with Liquidlogic’s child and adult social care systems based on the DoH ITK. This allows health workers to view aspects of social care plans and for social workers to be automatically updated as patients move through a care pathway in hospital. It will involve the sharing of patients events, discharge planning and discharge summaries. The company is currently negotiating a pilot project involving a number of social service authorities and an acute Trust.
- Integration work linking CarePlus Child Health with Medway and the Liquidlogic product sets.
Once completed, this will give acute clinicians information held in the McKesson CarePlus Child Health system, including vaccination history, developmental checks, child protection history and social care referrals. Community clinicians would likewise have visibility of pending appointments, inpatient episodes and e-Discharge summaries.
"Our goal is to give the NHS access to IT and robust patient-level information so carers can work effectively across boundaries”, Dr Denley said. "This is where we can hope to achieve significant improvements in the patient experience and patient outcomes."