Setting the Standards for Clinical Assessments in the NHS
Client:UK National Health Service
- Create a single view of the patient, encapsulated in a single patient record for all healthcare users, based on consistent documentation.
- A solution, based on the Lorenzo software package, provides a single platform for consistently managing clinical assessments, an important first step to electronic health records.
- Now in pilot, the CSC solution means that clinicians now “do once and share."
- Duplication of effort is reduced and this will cut time and costs within individual Trusts significantly.
The NHS is now organised as a series of autonomous Trusts, and their methods are strongly influenced by different clinical professional groups, leading to many variations. Around 8000 different forms are currently used in the NHS for gathering data and much of this content is stored on hard-to-access legacy IT systems.
An essential first step
Creating consistent assessment forms within Lorenzo Release 1 went further than simply replacing paper forms with electronic equivalents. Forms replicate the way practitioners work, so variations in forms indicate variations in clinical practice, and standard forms imply the need for standard methods.
CSC needed to create a synthesis of existing methods, define a best practice target approach, and then work in partnership with Trusts to implement this in very different settings. This was also the essential first step towards capturing all clinical data electronically right across the NHS.
Pilot programs key to success
Together with Connecting for Health, the Government body responsible for carrying out the National Programme for IT, CSC identified two Strategic Health Authorities to act as hosts for pilot projects. North West SHA hosted a pilot for Mental Health and York and Humber SHA did the same for Diabetes care. A third pilot, to develop the standard layout of Assessment forms, was carried out centrally, working with Connecting for Health, itself.
The pilots allowed CSC to work alongside healthcare practitioners, observing their working practices and gaining their input for development of the new forms.
"CSC have led the development of a repeatable process and supporting toolkit, that has enabled the wider use of the methodology across the NHS. This has given us the unique ability to create and capture the clinical assessments needed for all care settings and specialities electronically,” says Martyn Forrest, Programme Director, NHS Connecting for Health.