Record sharing platform credited for saving patient’s life in Nottinghamshire

A medical interoperability gateway (MIG) used by clinicians in Northamptonshire has been credited for saving one overdose patient’s life and reducing hospital admissions by one, per clinician per month.

The Connected Nottinghamshire (CN) programme run by Nottinghamshire CCG has been using a MIG supplied by Healthcare Gateway to share patient records.

The system enables information from 143 GP practices across six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to be accessed by hospital doctors and nurses, social care workers and ambulance staff in real-time.

Since its implementation in 2014, medication data via the MIG was directly responsible for saving one overdose patient’s life and has also helped GPs and A&E doctors to spot attempts to obtain multiple medications, preventing unsafe duplicate prescribing.

CN’s evaluation estimates record-sharing has additionally taken two minutes off every consultation – adding up to over half an hour in each clinician’s day.

Ninety-two per cent of staff said the MIG has helped them to improve overall patient care the 1.1m people in the Nottinghamshire area.

Andy Evans, programme director at Connected Nottinghamshire, said: “After extensive research, we chose the MIG in 2014 as a low cost, high value tactical solution that we could deploy easily.

“We can summarise complex data from any source and share it widely to other systems via the MIG very quickly. We are now making information from over 90% of GP patient records available, compared to 15% in 2015.”

The MIG lies at the heart of the Connected Nottinghamshire (CN) data-sharing network.

CN’s first target was to make patient records, including a supportive care dataset, available for acute emergency care and out-of-hours clinicians.

It has since enabled record sharing across healthcare organisations including out-of-hours services, hospitals, 111 staff, GPs, community carers and mental health workers.

Via the Midlands Accord, CN has also crossed regional borders to share data with organisations including Derbyshire Health United 111 and the East Midland Ambulance Service.

CN’s first target was to make patient records, including a supportive care dataset, available for acute emergency care and out-of-hours clinicians.

The major benefit has been to make accessing medical histories quick and easy for clinicians, letting them make better informed decisions about assessing, prescribing, referring and planning care for patients.

The additional dataset supports decisions around end of life care and treatment while recognising a patient’s wishes and preferences.

GP Dr Anita Bloor (pictured), senior medical advisor at out-of-hours and urgent primary care provider NEMS, said: “Access to live primary care records via the MIG gives our doctors and other out-of-hours clinical staff the vital information they need to make safe, effective and appropriate decisions.

“We now look at the patient’s GP record in almost every case we manage and, if it’s not available for some reason, it’s like having one arm tied behind your back. Immediate access to GP records can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, which is particularly important with frail elderly people.”

Giving every GP the background data they needed to handle an unexpected death was another priority. If they didn’t know the patient or hadn’t seen them within the last 14 days, GPs previously had to opt for a post-mortem.

Evans said the MIG had been “transformational” in changing local policy in this area.

Leanne Alder, research radiographer at Nottingham University Hospital, added: “The MIG saves time otherwise spent contacting GPs and other trusts to obtain information.

“We can more easily check which other medications patients are taking for any potential drug interactions and it also stops patients getting annoyed that GPs and hospitals don’t talk to each other.”

Healthcare Gateway’s interoperability platform is also being used by Bristol’s Connecting Care programme, where it has helped pre-operative patient assessments drop from 2.5 hours per person to less than a minute.

Liam King, commercial director of Healthcare Gateway, said: “We are delighted that the MIG employed originally as a tactical solution is now integral to the care provided to residents of Nottinghamshire

“There are many real quantifiable benefits in time saving, efficiencies and a more positive experience for patients and clinicians.”

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