West Midlands Integrated Care Systems to enhance cancer care by bringing registry data into InterSystems HealthShare
Health and social care providers across the West Midlands have started integrating cancer registry data from patients diagnosed with cancer across the region into the InterSystems shared care record, known as InterSystems HealthShare.
This initiative will allow clinicians across the area to easily view healthcare data about cancer patients and gain access to other specialist expertise, enabling them to make faster, more-accurate decisions to ensure they are providing optimum and timely cancer care.
The longer-term vision is to expand the approach further across the Midlands, enabling clinicians from across the country to access and share critical cancer registry data about their patients, regardless of which NHS trusts they may previously have been treated in.
And the ability to leverage the InterSystems HealthShare shared care record will enable care providers across Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to draw on cancer registry information to optimise critical multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs) across the region.
The driver for these initiatives was a concerted effort to tackle the paper-based silos of information that still exist in many care settings across the UK
These MDTs allow everyone involved with patient care, including oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, and radiologists, to come together to discuss the ongoing treatment plans of a specific group of patients to help move their care pathway forward.
The West Midlands Cancer Alliance has developed a new tool for running complex MDTs.
And, as part of this, InterSystems HealthShare is being used to bring together data from across the health economy so that the MDT discussions are fully informed.
Beyond the MDT itself, the project is also focused on broadening access to detailed information about cancer treatment and diagnosis across the health service as a whole.
Particularly with the most-serious conditions like cancer, the treatment for which is often spread across multiple different providers, it is not acceptable to hold up patient’s care because we don’t have access to their health records
This is of particular benefit for GPs, who are now much better informed about their patient's cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Hilary Fanning, managing director of research development and innovation at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which is leading the project, said: “The driver for these initiatives was a concerted effort to tackle the paper-based silos of information that still exist in many care settings across the UK.
“The collaborative efforts of cancer care providers from across the West Midlands ICSs has been key to delivery of this initiative.
“Particularly with the most-serious conditions like cancer, the treatment for which is often spread across multiple different providers, it is not acceptable to hold up patient’s care because we don’t have access to their health records.
“InterSystems HealthShare will help us break down these silos and allow us to deliver faster, more-joined-up treatment to our patients.”
It cuts out the need to chase information from multiple sources and it has the potential to be genuinely transformational for UK healthcare
The new initiatives are currently undergoing testing across 15 West Midlands sites.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is expected to be the first site to go live, followed by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
Chris Norton, managing director for the UK and Ireland at InterSystems, said: “We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with the West Midlands Cancer Alliance to apply our technology to support cancer care.
“In every team meeting, clinicians will benefit from the ability to access each patient’s up-to-the-minute history – all the hospitals they have been seen in, and the procedures, including chemotherapy and surgery, they have had.
“It cuts out the need to chase information from multiple sources and it has the potential to be genuinely transformational for UK healthcare.”