West Midlands Integrated Care Systems establishes one of the UK’s largest health and social care records using InterSystems’ HealthShare
The health and social care data of around 3.2 million citizens across the West Midlands has been integrated into a unified care record to improve care, making it safer and more effective.
Almost 400 health and social care providers from Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System (ICS), Coventry and Warwickshire ICS, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICS have joined forces to create one of the UK’s biggest shared care records using InterSystems HealthShare.
The providers include hospital trusts, mental health and community trusts, local authorities, an ambulance trust, hospices, and 365 GP practices.
The initiative is fundamental to the delivery of integrated care in the region as it enables health and social care professionals to see accurate, joined-up information when they need it to provide care to citizens, wherever they present in any of the three ICS areas.
The ICSs have worked with InterSystems to enable locally-agreed data sets that providers individually hold on citizens to be viewable by clinicians and social care professionals across all partner organisations.
The shared care record enables authorised staff to share and view relevant information such as medications, allergies, emergency contacts, and any safeguarding information.
This two-way information exchange overcomes challenges that can arise from health and social care records being stored in separate systems at each service providing a citizen’s care. And it ensures the most-appropriate, informed health and social care is delivered for every individual.
Being able to access such crucial information in one place through a unified health and social care record will enhance our ability to deliver care in ways that are appropriate and timely
The system builds on the region’s existing mental healthcare record blueprint, ‘MERIT’.
This integrates mental health diagnoses, treatments, risk assessment plans, care team, and crisis intervention plans across five mental health trust systems to eliminate blind spots that can lead to gaps in patient care.
While serving similar aims to MERIT, the shared care record facilitates organisational collaboration on a much-wider scale. The system also has one of the largest number of social care records in the country, integrating citizens’ social care records from six local authorities.
Dr James Reed, consultant forensic psychiatrist and chief clinicalinformation officer at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are proud to have brought together such a vast number of health and social care organisations into one system.
“We have already connected with six local authorities, including city and borough councils, to integrate citizen records, and have expanded on the original organisations to include additional settings such as hospices and a prison.”
Cezar Sarbu, head of service for area social work at Worcestershire County Council, added: “It’s difficult to overstate the benefits of having greater visibility into our citizens’ needs.
What these integrated care systems have achieved, transforming care in the region, is exemplary. It shows just what is possible across the UK with greater integration and interoperability
“Being able to access such crucial information in one place through a unified health and social care record will enhance our ability to deliver care in ways that are appropriate and timely.”
And Chris Norton, managing director for the UK and Ireland at InterSystems, said: “What these integrated care systems have achieved, transforming care in the region, is exemplary.
“It shows just what is possible across the UK with greater integration and interoperability.
“InterSystems HealthShare has the potential to enable the region to effectively address residents’ needs and I look forward to expanding this infrastructure to additional health and social care services in the future for more-connected, better-informed care.”