Scottish Health Board Leaps Ahead in Integrating Children's Services

NextGateNHS Dumfries and Galloway has taken a major step in integrating children’s services across health, social care and other public services. This is as a result of a pioneering project that is moving far beyond anything done before within NHS Scotland to link crucial information on patients from across disparate IT systems used by different organisations.

The health board has deployed NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) system which helps users across Dumfries and Galloway confidently identify and match records on patients across different organisations.

Representing a major achievement for NHS integration and working towards the Scottish Government's 'Getting it right for every child' guidelines, the project has now seen the health board and its local authority partner link vital information on children across health and social care.

This means clinical staff and social care workers can make more informed decisions and deliver the best and safest possible care for children.

For clinicians, the technology reduces the time spent manually searching for the correct patient information, freeing up resource to focus on providing efficient and safe treatment.

Information from a range of other services including child protection, police, education, housing, and other relevant authorities will also soon become integrated through the project.

The system works by presenting a consolidated and comprehensive view of the patient to relevant and authorised professionals through existing technologies and clinical portals.

Graham Gault, general manager ICT at NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: "We now have a powerful and sophisticated tool to link children from records and datasets that use NHS numbers, social care numbers, police references, education references and any other type of identifier.

"We can now share relevant health information with partner organisations, where appropriate, using proper information governance protocols, so that the best decisions can be made, and the safest and most effective care delivered for children.

"By exploiting algorithms and probability matching tools in NextGate, we can link records in a way we have never done before. The EMPI software has provided the ability to seamlessly integrate health and social care and other third party information."

Using NextGate EMPI probability matching tools, records for individual patients are positively and accurately identified and matched across different organisations, regardless of variations in how the individual is referenced in different applications and datasets.

This means that records from many different organisations can now be quickly linked for tens of thousands of patients across the entire Dumfries and Galloway area.

Gault added: "This is a pioneering achievement now that we are linking records on a major scale, joining data from systems so that clinical staff and social care workers can view all necessary information that is pertinent and relevant to them delivering effective care."

Andy Aroditis, CEO NextGate, said: "This project represents a major move forward in Scotland for delivering joined-up services. Population health relies on accurate, timely, and aggregated information.

"As an organisation, we understand that patient outcomes depend upon the accuracy of the identity verification and the quality of data provided by our technology. This project is a very positive step for the area of Dumfries and Galloway, as their local teams recognise how data management is essential to the delivery of integrated and coordinated care."

About NHS Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Dumfries and Galloway serves a population of 148,190 but within a large geographical area of about 2,400 square miles. Dumfries and Galloway stretches from Langholm in the East to Drummore in the West, and from Kirkconnel and Carsphairn in the North down to Sandyhills on the Solway Coast. The Health Board employs around 4500 staff excluding GPs and Dentists.

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary is based in Dumfries and is the main hospital for the region providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient health services. The Galloway Community Hospital serves Stranraer and the west of the region, is an intermediate unit providing maternity services, and medical & surgical beds. There are bedded units within eight cottage hospitals which provide care services such as minor injuries units. Midpark Hospital provides inpatient facilities for mental health patients.

About NextGate
NextGate uses its internationally unrivalled expertise in patient identification to connect health and care organisations by accurately identifying and linking patient and provider data. In the UK NextGate's enterprise master patient index (EMPI) is supporting integrated and coordinated care improvements by facilitating the delivery of patient-centric information, which means more informed decision making, resulting in better, safer, more efficient, higher quality care.

Its award-winning best in KLAS EMPI technology searches, identifies and consolidates disparate and duplicate patient information from multiple systems and organisations and displays an accurate, single record to help clinicians deliver coordinated care to patients through the care continuum. NextGate currently supports the care of over 170 million patients across the world, and in the UK NHS customer sites include Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, Avon IM&T Consortium and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

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