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Buckinghamshire selects Graphnet as part of its Integrated Care System strategy

14th June 2018

Health and social care organisations in Buckinghamshire have selected Graphnet to provide a county-wide shared care record for 530,000 residents. 

Buckinghamshire is one of the first Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the country and this shared record technology is a core part of its strategy for joining up health and care.  One of the county’s priorities as an ICS includes ensuring that care flows seamlessly from one service to the next and that care professionals can work together on a shared plan for each individual’s care, with a view to improving safety and efficiency, and improving patient experience and outcomes.

The programme is being led by NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) working closely in partnership with ICS partners.  In this phase, the interoperability programme will use Graphnet’s CareCentric software to share information between Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire County Council Social Care and 51 GP practices.

Further phases of the programme will add information feeds from out of hours services, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, local hospices, care homes and other third party care providers and include them in the associated workflows.  A link into the Berkshire and Frimley ‘Share Your Care’ record will also form part of the further phases to support the care of individuals in the south of Buckinghamshire.

As part of its digital transformation, Buckinghamshire has also become the UK’s first shared record to take a county-wide licence for the CareFlow Connect care coordination platform from the System C & Graphnet Care Alliance. This means that clinicians and care teams will be able to use secure messaging, alerting and workflow across the whole ICS, with all messages linked to patients, receeded in CareCentric and forming part of the patient record. 

Unifying communication across organisations and the use of alerting for patient events - such as admissions, discharges, A&E attendance and child protection alerts - will help prevent time being wasted in inefficient communication.  It will also support cross-organisation or team collaboration - liaising over a patient discharge and transfer of care, for example, preventing an unnecessary admission, or responding to and co-ordinating care for individuals.

“We are delighted to be working with Graphnet on this exciting development which is a big step in enabling the joined-up health and social care in Bucks that everyone wants and needs.” said Louise Watson, managing director of the Buckinghamshire Integrated Care System.  “The programme will support ICS priorities to transform care pathways, reducing duplication and increasing efficiency and effectiveness of care.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, Buckinghamshire CCG’s clinical chair explained, “Staff in different organisations will have access to the right information at the right time in the right place to make speedier and better informed decisions, ultimately leading to improved clinical effectiveness and safety.” 

The new system will enable health and care professionals to have immediate and appropriate access to all relevant information about a person’s care, treatment, diagnostics and previous history. This includes care plans and all necessary transfers of care information.  Patient confidentiality is paramount and staff will only be able to access the information they need depending on their role.  There is a clear legal basis under GDPR for the data sharing and data processing. Patients are able to opt-out of data sharing should they wish to do so.

The shared care record will be embedded into existing core operational systems, including EMIS Web, Adastra, System C’s Medway EPR and Liquidlogic social care software. This means that users across the county will be able to access the shared information without a separate log-in, using Single Sign On and within patient context. 

“Buckinghamshire has an ambitious programme of work to support its ICS activity and we are very pleased to be part of it”, said Graphnet’s CEO Brian Waters.  “We specialise in sharing data and workflows across care communities and each new project builds on the experience of others.  This Bucks project, with its cross-community collaboration, will make a tremendous difference to the delivery of care across the county.”

The new contract, signed between Graphnet and NHS Buckinghamshire CCG, is also an important milestone in the long-term partnership between the Buckinghamshire care community and the System C & Graphnet Care Alliance.

The Buckinghamshire ICS already uses a wide range of software from the System C & Graphnet Care Alliance, including the EPR at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, child health systems across Buckinghamshire, and children’s social care software used by social care professionals.