Shared Data Services Will Revolutionise The Sharing Of Medical Records
Yet the fact remains that with the administration of data representing a substantial chunk of the costs involved in running public services like healthcare, tackling the issue head on has become an urgent necessity.
While the importance of localised services and individually tailored care is undeniable, there remains a number of administrative functions and back office activity that it would be both relevant and sensible to control from a central location.
In healthcare teams across the country, staff using one of three competing GP management systems are currently attempting to integrate the information contained within them with entirely different packages provided by the three Acute Systems vendors that account for the vast majority of the delivery systems in the NHS trusts today.
In an ideal world all of these systems would be capable of talking to and sharing information with each other, but on an imperfect planet, the reality is that they don’t.
With thousands of man hours being gobbled up every week by this anomaly, there’s an urgent need to find ways of making the disparate management software currently employed by different NHS trusts speak to each other. The current lack of information portability necessitates a great deal of administration at considerable cost, and healthcare workers find themselves in genuine need of a set of standards to govern the handling and sharing of data generated throughout the patient referral and discharge process.
Transferring critical patient data from the GP management systems to the Acute Systems used in hospitals is often achieved via the medium of pen and paper, making it slow, costly and prone to human error. It is in scenarios like this that critical clinical information goes missing, and while rarely life threatening, is a daily source of delay and frustration to health workers around the UK.
Furthermore, in the absence of joined-up referral systems staff often have to request records from local surgeries which don’t always arrive in time.
With fuller information, front line workers would be equipped to make better decisions.
- Staff aren’t informed of a patient’s allergy to certain medications.
- Standard tests are repeated unnecessarily.
- Time, which is constantly in short supply, is wasted simply because the left hand hasn’t been told what the right hand is doing.
At a time of austerity, such inefficiencies represent a significant loss to the nation that’s happening because the system simply isn’t properly joined up.
Not unexpectedly, at SCC we believe that G-Cloud – where concerns over sensitive data have been addressed by the government’s security accreditation system and sharing information between disparate solutions is a significantly reduced challenge – offers an ideal opportunity to create a simple solution to a significant problem.
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