Northern health boards to integrate digital patient records

Written by Tom Freeman on 13 March 2018 in News

Four northern health boards launch shared platform for patient records integrated with care plans

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Health boards in the north of Scotland are to integrate patients health and social care data on a single digital platform.

The move will mean services and care providers can share patient data across areas covered by NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland.

It is hoped having more joined up information held on a patient, including any current care plans, will help patients move more quickly from hospital to care packages and allow community health workers to be more effective. 

The platform, created by Orion Health, will only display “clinically relevant” data and can link to systems at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde when patients are transferred for specialist treatment.

Sharing of data between medical services has been a hot topic in recent years, as has accessing records in rural areas where mobile broadband may not be available.

In more remote parts of Scotland clinicians also frequently work across more than one health board.

Iain Ross, head of eHealth NHS Highland, said: “The regional approach to data sharing that we are taking is driven by clinical priorities, and an understanding of the complexities of delivering joined up care in some of the remotest areas in Europe.

“Our patients flow across the region, but sometimes their data can be slow to follow them. By linking systems across primary, secondary and social care for the first time our clinicians will have the complete picture of a patient, ensuring they can make the most informed decisions. It’s about ensuring that the patient stays at the heart of everything that we do.”

The integrated portal will be hosted by NHS Grampian. The board’s clinical director of eHealth Dr Steve Baguley said clinicians had helped design the system.

“The data integration will be supported by the establishment of strong information governance and data sharing practices, and a regional board to oversee the process,” he said.

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