NHS Trust collaboration with interoperability service sees clinical portal go live

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) has gone live with a new clinical portal for its mental health, community, and learning disability services thanks to a collaboration with interoperability service company ReStart Consulting.

The roll-out began 12 months ago in the Improving Access to Psychologial Therapies (IAPT) portal, called PORTIA, has the potential to save staff significant time each year in unnecessary administration and phone calls by improving access to clinical information. It can reduce clinical risks associated with disparate information on different system, and removes the duplication of data entry into specific systems.

Once the roll-out is complete, the new care record will provide around 3,500 health and care professionals with access to patient information from eight different IT systems.

Nichola Hartshorne, Kirklees and Calderdale Improving Access to Psychological Therapies clinical manager, said: “We wanted to give our Single Point of Access teams and other local care providers a full picture of a patient’s interaction with the trust at the point of referral, to make sure they had visibility of patient demographics, previous appointments, contacts and progress notes.

“This not only reduces the risk of missing any relevant details on referral, it also means patients will no longer need to continually provide and repeat personal information at each care episode, therefore improving their experience.”

The IAPT service was identified as a key area that could deliver significant efficiency benefits with the introduction of the shared clinical record and new interoperable technology that could be scaled up adding further functionality incrementally.

The ‘building block’ approach meant that the PORTIA clinical portal went live to meet short timescales in comparison to some regional interoperability programmes facing the challenges of engaging multiple organisations with varying digital requirements.

Paul Foster, head of IT services and systems development at SWYPFT, said: “Given that our localities have a varied mix of current and legacy systems, holding patient information which could be beneficial for care, we were realistic in terms of achievability, timescale and cost for PORTIA.

“We worked closely with ReStart to engage with the different service teams and find out how we could shape the solution for their specific needs, meaning we kept momentum to go live, and beyond. And the early signs for benefits realisation are encouraging; across the trust, clinicians are aiming to save a significant number of days in unnecessary administration annually.”

The Viper360 Presentation Layer is a tool for care professionals that can be scaled to include patient interaction. It offers a broader many-to-many relationship to patient data allowing conditions for professionals to interact in real-time.

Mike Symers, managing director of ReStart Consulting, said: “So often you see shared care record programmes struggle with lengthy, resource-intensive deployments that end up not offering the flexible and user-centric solutions originally wanted by clinicians, carers and administrators.

“The SWYPFT team have demonstrated a sensible approach to integration: present users with relevant data at the point of care, and then build functionality to include new organisations and systems as the need arises. Well done to all involved in what is, in my view, a significant milestone for NHS interoperability.”

The next steps will build on the viewing platform to implement write back functionality and a true shared care patient record including a patient portal.

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