East London health care organisations have been taking strides to further improve patients’ care and patients’ safety through sharing patient data across the health economy using the Cerner Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform.
The Cerner HIE platform provides a holistic view of patients’ records across different health care facilities. Patients no longer have to repeat their story as their records are accessible across different care settings.
Safety is also improved with a more complete view of the care record. Greater visibility of known allergies and medications when patients are admitted helps avoid adverse reactions, and easy access to previous radiology results avoids duplicate tests and unnecessary radiation. Doctors will know the allergies of a patient arriving in A&E, for instance, and when a patient goes to the GP, they will see that the patient was recently in A&E due to a fall at home and had high blood pressure, for example.
A focus on the patient at the centre of care is a key part of the local digital roadmap, with the aim to be paper-free at point of care by 2020. The new functionality added to the Cerner HIE connects with the community system at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust delivering integration, through interoperability, between primary, secondary, community care sectors and soon, the mental health sector.
Dr Carla Stephen, Consultant Community Paediatrician at Homerton says: “HIE has provided a unique opportunity for us in the community services to access information more easily from our partners. We have welcomed this as we often coordinate care for children with complex needs receiving input from multiple providers and have historically found it a challenge to access information about them quickly and reliably. This has the potential to streamline decision-making and reduce risk.”
Until recently, the Cerner HIE was used to connect the City of London and Hackney GPs with Homerton and subsequent to that, Homerton with Barts Health NHS Trust. Extending into community services will give acute care professionals access to crucial information from the community and vice versa, with health visitors working in the community able to view hospital and A&E admissions and planned follow up care without delay. This forms the basis for the east London Patient Record (eLPR); going forward this will ensure that no matter where the patient is seen and by which health professional, they can rest assured that their medical history is accessible.
The connectivity to Cerner HIE is provided as a contextual link within the clinical systems, encouraging clinical adoption with easy access. Homerton staff can now see allergies, medications, test results, diagnoses, operations recorded by the patient’s GP in Cerner Millennium. GPs can see similar information recorded by Homerton staff, as can Barts Health NHS Trust.
Geoff Segal, General Manager, Cerner UK & Ireland, said: “We have worked with Homerton University Hospital since 2003 and are pleased to continue that partnership as we work together to deliver the Trust’s digital roadmap and interoperability plans to provide an east London patient record. We work in collaboration to deliver the best joined-up health care service to the local community and patients, linking all sectors of the health economy with social care now in progress. The emergence of an east London patient record is a shared ambition and reflects the need to enable health care delivery at a system level.”
Decision making is faster and care planning better informed with real-time access to history of care. Non-value added administrative effort has been reduced which releases more time for clinical care with the patient.
It doesn’t stop here, the next steps of this deployment will enable the GPs to view secondary care data and community data, the development of HIE to include mental health, and give access to partner organisations across east London, the City and Hackney to the Cerner HIE view.