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Stockport showcases its Graphnet integrated health record

31st January 2012

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust hosted an IT open day this week and showcased its Graphnet integrated health record solution – a system which enables the sharing of GP, acute and social care (CAF) data across the Stockport health economy.

The Stockport Health Record gives access to a full clinical record for the patient, with Read-coded information. Fifty of 52 GP practices in the area have agreed to share their data, and the system currently contains about 10m items of data covering 280,000 patients.

An acute admission and discharge feed had recently been added, allowing GPs to view hospital data.  

The software is currently used by Out of Hours clinicians, A&E staff and the medical admissions unit.  NHS Stockport is now looking to expand access and use to other groups of community workers.  

Ian Curr, the information director of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, explained to delegates that there was “a new mood in IT in the NHS for more connectivity, more joined-up working, more collaboration.”

The full story can be found by following this link to the E-Health Insider website http://www.ehi.co.uk/insight/analysis/828/ehi-focus-on:-stockport.

EHI focus on: Stockport

EHI Primary Care reporter Rebecca Todd attends an IT conference in Stockport, where local health and social care organisations are working on projects to share records and other information.

Ian Curr, the Information Director of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, feels there is a “new mood in IT in the NHS for more connectivity, more joined-up working, more collaboration.”

There was certainly enthusiasm at the first NHS IT conference held in the town, where doctors, managers and IT specialists networked over a buffet lunch and cups of tea.

Stockport’s health and social care providers are working on a number of projects aimed at ensuring medical information is available to all those caring for a patient, and to patients themselves. The most high profile of these is probably the Stockport Health Record.

Adding to the Stockport Health Record
Stockport Health Record Programme Manager Paul Gaskin updated the conference on the latest developments for this integrated care portal, which combines primary and secondary care information and is soon to include real-time community data.

The Stockport Health Record went live 18 months ago. With NHS Stockport leading the project, 50 of 52 GP practices in the area have agreed to share their data in the portal made available in view-only form to out-of-hours doctors, A&E departments and medical admissions units.

In contrast with the national Summary Care Record, the Stockport Health Record gives access to a full clinical record for the patient, with Read-coded information. It contains about 10m items of data covering 280,000 patients.

Clinicians in the units that have access have to ask a patient directly if they can view their record when they come into contact with them; and data can be anonymised for research purposes.

Last month, a tentative step was taken towards sending information in the other direction – from hospitals to GPs – when an acute admission and discharge feed was added.

“The real prize from the hospital is to get all their documentation via the Stockport Health Record, especially things like electronic discharges,” Gaskin told EHI Primary Care. “We are currently in negotiation with them to do that phase of work.

“The holy grail would be all providers that provide a service to our Stockport patients would share their data through the repository.”

Plans are already firmly in place for Stockport Council’s continuing healthcare team – which deals with complex needs patients - to be integrated into the shared record from early next year.

The first community workers to use it will be district nurses, who will input referral and assessment information directly into the record, which can then be viewed and shared by other clinicians.
Gaskin said the primary care trust’s supplier, Graphnet, and council supplier, OLM, had worked together on the interface between the two systems, which is now being tested.

As other groups of community workers came on board, their view of information will be tailored to their clinical need, said Gaskin. He added that only the source provider of information would be able to change it on the record.

Issues for patients
GPs and practice managers in the sessions were enthusiastic about getting hospital information speedily and electronically into their records.

However, conversations around giving patients access to records highlighted concerns about confidentiality - and why patients were not pushing for access themselves.

NHS Stockport’s Deputy Head of IM&T, Paul Fleming, has carried out research on four GP practices giving patients access to their records in Stockport, Tameside and Glossop.

He told the audience that doctors reported that patients with records access became more engaged with their own healthcare. They also reported that practice time was saved by patients booking appointments and checking test results online.

Fleming, who organised the conference, said the shifting organisational landscape meant it was a particularly important time to be developing and maintaining “joined-up thinking and robust relationships.”

“Technology underpins much of what we do as organisations and we have the opportunity to build relationships between those who provide (and commission) care, ultimately for the benefit of local people,” he said. “If we act in silos, the only loser will be the patient.”