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Making a shared care record an enabler for transformation from day 1

17 June 2021 by Kanwal Stolworthy

In the first of a series of blogs tracking the roll-out of the Kent and Medway Care Record (KMCR), Kanwal Stolworthy, customer success and transformation director at Graphnet Health, highlights the importance of early-stage groundwork in delivering success. 

The shared record programme is being delivered in partnership by Kent and Medway ICS, Graphnet and Cantium Business Solutions.  The newly-designated ICS is focused on ensuring it unlocks benefits from day 1 and achieves the vision laid out in the Government’s new health and social care white paper to integrate care and innovate at pace.

As I write this, Kent and Medway is in the final stages of mobilising its shared care record.  Our joint programme team had a significant challenge ahead of them at the start of the project. It has involved bringing together information for 1.8 million citizens, who are being cared for across four acute trusts, three providers of core community services and two providers of community based mental health services, as well as 225 GP practices (main sites), 85 branch sites and two local authorities.

Given the complexity of the landscape and therefore their shared record, I find it astonishing how in the most challenging of times, the programme didn’t lose ground. In fact, with strong leadership from the ICS, it stepped up a gear to respond to Covid-19 while being at the epicentre of a new variant during the second wave.  The team adapted quickly to these emerging challenges, introducing new functionality to flag infection and vaccine information within the shared record.  At the same time, it worked really hard to provide the essential groundwork that is essential to success.

The three ‘U’s

Although the actual implementation of a shared record system is a complex undertaking in itself, it is actually just one stage in the much longer journey to transformation. Graphnet has been deploying shared records for over 15 years, providing care records for more than 20m people. That long experience has taught us that a major factor for success is being able to articulate the shared record’s usefulness to different types of health and care professionals early on in the project – way before implementation.  It’s essential to analyse user behaviour before, during and after rolling out a shared care record so programme teams can use these insights to raise awareness, educate, train and achieve high levels of engagement. Evidence shows that this is fundamental to realising positive outcomes and benefits for professionals and citizens from day 1 of a launch. 

Understanding user journeys, their activities, information needs, key touchpoints with the system and their experiences along the way, will in turn ensure that shared records are perceived as useful, usable and are therefore used.  This is a key element of a new transformation framework launched by Graphnet to support integrated care systems to gain the most from their shared care records.

This means that in Kent and Medway we are working with quality improvement and engagement leads on the ground to capture this level of insight from their health and care professionals. We can then produce richer use cases that genuinely reflect people’s information requirements and needs.  We are also better able to surface opportunities to address barriers to adoption and improve. And then, by embedding these use cases in standardised operational procedures and policies, we are not just supporting greater use of this technology from the outset but also supporting an integrated care system drive best practice.

In this way a shared care record really does deliver as a critical enabler for any health and care economy in its journey to achieving true integrated care.

Kanwal Stolworthy
Kanwal Stolworthy, customer success and transformation director, Graphnet

Understanding user journeys, their activities, information needs, key touchpoints with the system and their experiences along the way, will in turn ensure that shared records are perceived as useful, usable and are therefore used.


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