Published in Care Home Professional
A recently launched software integration that seeks to deliver two-way interoperability between social care and healthcare settings is already making an impact, with first users calling it “invaluable”.
The revolutionary integration between Person Centred Software’s digital care management system, Mobile Care Monitoring, and NHS Digital’s GP Connect and National Record Locator (NRL) provides care homes with instantaneous and direct access to resident GP records for the first time.
As a result, registered nurses at nursing homes can now access residents’ case histories at record-speed, empowering them to make faster and better medical decisions.
Mike Armstrong, Managing Director of Havering Care, which operates two purpose-built care homes in East London, said: “We’ve found the software to be fantastic. We’ve got physios in the care homes as part of a Discharge to Assess Pilot Service, so it’s been invaluable to have access to GP Connect so they can get residents’ case history much quicker. It offers more in-depth information too, including whether a resident has been vaccinated before joining us.
“Physios are used to being in hospitals and getting instantaneous answers, whereas in a care home setting they often have to go to the GP and potentially wait for them to respond, which could be several hours. Empowered with GP Connect, we can now get much quicker response times.”
Within just 24 hours of going live, 7 care homes signed data-sharing agreements for GP Connect while 13 GP Connect records were accessed across four organisations. After the first week, those figures jumped to 15 (over 100% increase) and 64 (492% increase) respectively. Now, two weeks since the launch, 40 clinicians (primarily Nurses) have used GP Connect to access the records of 148 residents across 17 CCG areas.
Having long campaigned for a more integrated health and social care system, the launch is a major milestone for Person Centred Software, whose ultimate goal is to improve the quality of care for residents and to enable a better journey for when they move between services.
The company believes that the more joined up the different elements of care are, the more likely everyone is to achieve the best outcomes, and that the importance of real-time data has been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Coles, Head of Product Management at Person Centred Software, explains: “The coronavirus pandemic has shown that information is necessary to help inform clinical decision making, and making the best decisions saves lives. One of the outcomes of this world-changing event is that it has woken people to the need to share information quickly, securely and efficiently with those who need it.
“The NHS Digital team engaged Person Centred Software at this time to enable GP information to be shared with authorised, registered clinicians in care providers. We were ready, willing and able to respond, and grabbed the chance to work on this project as a priority to help care providers.”
Other care providers to have praised the integration for streamlining processes and boosting efficiency since its launch include Clearstone Care and Wren Hall.
Speaking of their experience so far, Shehzad Jivraj, Head of Operations at Clearstone Care, said: “We feel extremely privileged to be amongst the first to use the integration and the feedback we’ve received from nursing staff so far has been brilliant. By logging into the system, staff can now see all relevant medical records related to residents and without having to chase individual GP surgeries.
With all the important information kept in one place and easily accessible, the integration is only going to drive improvements across the industry. It’s extremely impressive that NHS Digital’s GP Connect team and Person Centred Software have been able to get to this stage and the more homes that can use the technology, the better.”
Similarly impressed by the integration, Anita Astle MBE, Managing Director from Wren Hall said: “The timesaving benefits to our staff are going to be huge, and the system will also improve our knowledge base of the individuals we care for. We’re thrilled to be one of the first care homes in the country to use the integration and we look forward to it becoming part of our everyday lives.”
Discussing the integration with GP Connect, co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, Jonathan Papworth, added: “We have always strived to make life better for everyone involved in social care which has been achieved through our digital care software. This landmark innovation is a step change towards the integration of social care and health care which will improve the information flow as people transition between care settings. This milestone reiterates the need for all social care providers to adopt digital care systems urgently.”
For more information about GP Connect visit https://digital.nhs.uk/services/gp-connect