Better has won a contract to support Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership deliver a regional medicines record via the Better openEHR platform and Better Meds software that will serve a population of 1.8 million people.
The Partnership is looking to integrate services across the region, adopting a centrally managed system that will provide a shared medicines record when a patient is transferred to different health settings across the region.
The contract is the first step in the region’s strategy to provide a consolidated medicines record platform centered around the patient, that is accessible by any authorised healthcare professional in any of the region’s care settings.
Andrew Thompson, Acting Digital Health Lead and CTO – Lancashire and South Cumbria Health & Care Partnership, said: “Like many developing integrated care systems, we have a range of disparate data sets all over the region, embedded in different systems. This makes it very hard for effective sharing of information and has the potential for issues if a patient is transferred across care settings. We know that adopting a more unified approach, utilizing open data standards, will mean our patients will have a better experience and safer, more effective care. This approach fundamentally aligns with the direction of travel detailed in the new NHSE data strategy – Data saves lives.”
Better is now working with the region’s digital team to establish a patient-centric consolidated medicines record, providing immediate access, anytime and anywhere, to vital information across the whole region. This will bring together the medicine records from all care settings: primary care, secondary care, mental health, care homes, and hospices. The crucial medicines information will be available at the point of care, enabling care teams to make better decisions. Moreover, the open platform approach will also enable instant read-write capability to get a real-time view and reconciliation of medicines administration.
The platform, underpinned by open data standards, will provide huge additional benefits in understanding medicines reconciliation in transfers of care, as well as improving patient safety across the system.
Better is working across the UK with other Integrated Care Systems to implement regional medicines records based on the open platform approach. The company is also working in parallel with NHSX to support the evolution of the national standards for medicines optimisation.
Matthew Cox, Managing Director of Better UK and Ireland, said: “In an individual hospital setting, you can manage the data within your organisation using a single system. But if a patient is transferred from one care setting to another, there is a significant chance of an error being introduced into the person's prescriptions, which could have very serious consequences. As we move to regional care under Health & Care Partnerships, it is vital that the current interoperability issues impacting on the NHS are tackled. We are proud that Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Care Partnership has chosen Better to support them in resolving this challenge in their region.”