Iain Ross, head of eHealth NHS Highland, said: "The regional approach to data sharing that we are taking is driven by clinical priorities, and an understanding of the complexities of delivering joined up care in some of the remotest areas in Europe.
"Our patients flow across the region, but sometimes their data can be slow to follow them. By linking systems across primary, secondary and social care for the first time our clinicians will have the complete picture of a patient, ensuring they can make the most informed decisions. It's about ensuring that the patient stays at the heart of everything that we do."
The first phase of the project will see the development of a shared care record using Orion Health's Population Health platform to present a clinically relevant view of the patient's record, presenting clinical data from the two Patient Management Systems (PMS) currently used by the four boards; the region's two SCI Stores; its Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and the Emergency Care Summary data.
It will also allow users to access information contained in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Orion Health Clinical Portal, an essential project requirement, as patients in the North of Scotland regularly receive treatment there.
The second phase, due to be completed by early 2019, will allow users to access information held within the North of Scotland partnering GP practice and social care systems. For the first time care providers in these boards will be able to view joined up health and social care information held on a patient, including any current care plans. By having access to a person’s care plans and subject to the data sharing agreements being in place, the partners believe care teams will have the information to hand to deliver effective care and better manage the hospital discharge process, potentially freeing up secondary care capacity.
Providing clinicians with secure access to a patient's health and social care information - wherever they are in the North of Scotland will be an important benefit, as many staff increasingly work across the health board boundaries, regularly travelling between the mainland and the Northern Isles.
The portal will be hosted by NHS Grampian and will use Orion Health’s integration engine Rhapsody and its Clinical Data Repository products to support the capture and presentation of data.
Dr Steve Baguley, clinical director of eHealth for NHS Grampian, said: "The new health and social care portal will increase the amount of data healthcare professionals will be able to see from day one. This will help us make better assessments of patients and improve care quality. Clinicians have been involved in helping to shape the new portal and are excited by its possibilities. The data integration will be supported by the establishment of strong information governance and data sharing practices, and a regional board to oversee the process."
Dr Baguley believes the new health and social care portal will help the region achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Quadruple Aim: improving health outcomes, reducing costs and enhancing the experience of healthcare processes for patients and staff.
Mr Jim Docherty, clinical director for eHealth NHS Highland, said: "The new Elective Care Centre in Inverness will serve patients across the region, providing knee, hip and cataract surgery as well as a full range of ophthalmology services. The closer collaboration and information sharing enabled by the portal will allow more patients across the North of Scotland to benefit from this new facility when it's completed."
Colin Gray, country manager Scotland at Orion Health, said: "The health and social care portal has been designed around the care priorities of all partners and the shared vision for a connected healthcare system that delivers efficient and effective care for every patient.
"This new implementation builds upon our already existing and successful portal-to-portal project that is transforming care in the West of Scotland. We are excited to see the benefits of closer collaboration driven by data sharing in the North of Scotland powered by Orion Health."
Nick Willox, sales director Scotland at Orion Health, said: "This contract win is testament to the trusted reputation that we have established in NHS Scotland over the last 10 years in the delivery of innovative technology to the health and care sector. Our product portfolio is broadly aligned with the Scottish Government aspirations to improve the health and wellbeing of Scotland's population through the greater use of digital technology. We look forward to working with the North of Scotland to deliver this project and supporting them in the delivery of their regional delivery plan."
About Orion Health LtdOrion Health is a leading population health management company and one of the world's leading providers of electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare integration solutions to healthcare organisations. Worldwide, Orion Health solutions are used in 30 countries to facilitate healthcare for more than 100 million patients. This includes over 70 organisations throughout the National Health Service in England, and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, as well as the six existing healthboard customers in Scotland. The firm has offices in London, Glasgow and Belfast as well as offices in France, Spain, Turkey and UAE.
About the Scottish Government eHealth Strategy 2022 visionThe eHealth Strategy 2014 - 2017 set a national direction through a common vision and set of key aims. The subsequent strategy, 2018-2022, will be launched this spring. The new strategy has been redeveloped to recognise the rapidly evolving environment of integrated health & social care and the need to address not only NHS Scotland requirements, but also the expectations and requirements of partnership organisations, and citizens for electronic information and digital services.
We have a related 2020 eHealth Vision that everyone’s health and wellbeing can be better supported through greater use of digital technology. eHealth is the key to how we access, use and, share information within and across NHS Boards and with partner organisations in order to deliver integrated health and social care; how we support patients and their carers to make informed decisions to manage their health and wellbeing; and how we use health data appropriately to improve the effectiveness of services and treatment and make significant advances in medical research.