Shared care planning solution deployed across London

On behalf of the NHS in London, NHS South West London has worked in partnership with Better to deploy a shared care planning application and platform in only seven months. The Urgent Care Plan, implemented across five integrated care systems, 40 NHS trusts and 1,400 general practices, enables all Londoners to have their care and support preferences shared digitally with health and care professionals across the capital.

The solution will ensure that patients' wishes for urgent care situations are considered at the point of care. The new technology, provided by Better’s market-leading openEHR, low-code platform, also enables the rapid future development of care plans and digital services to support people with a variety of health and wellbeing needs and conditions, such as learning disabilities, mental health problems, frailty, and asthma.

Underpinned by open health data and low-code tools, the shared care plan reduces duplication, improves accessibility, and facilitates the creation of shared care plans for a variety of clinical pathways starting with the Urgent Care Plan.

The Pan London Strategic Commissioning Group (SCG) selected Better as its digital development partner in December 2021. The partnership between the NHS in London, Better, and multiple vendors of electronic patient records has resulted in a dynamic, integrated care planning solution to deliver joined-up care. Better selected partners Atos, ReStart, CareIS, XYCare, and FreshEHR to support with the successful deployment of the solution.

By adopting an openEHR data platform across the region, health and care providers can access and contribute information in real-time, contribute towards a single care plan, and make use of a standard set of tools that can be deployed at the point of care. Health data, which can be accessed through other platforms, such as patient-facing apps and personal health records, is also being used to support research, and to encourage citizens to take greater ownership of their care by allowing them to create and amend care plans.

Gary McAllister, London Chief Technology Officer, OneLondon, said: “Across London, our vision is to deliver joined-up health and care to our population, which is made possible by the London Care Record and the Urgent Care Plan. Patient care often involves teams of professionals working across different organisations and disciplines, such as GP practices, hospitals, care homes and hospices, so our primary consideration was to find a solution that enabled flexible information sharing. Better’s OpenEHR platform ticked all of the boxes, and clinicians across London are now benefiting from being able to provide safe and holistic care, with the information they need available in the right place, at the right time. We are very excited to see the transformational opportunities that this technology brings to continually improve the care we provide in London.”

Better’s platform works by standardising the way information is captured, providing end users with tools, capabilities, and data modelling provision, while supporting other services to share information more readily. Standardised data models can be used in the future to support population health management and health inequality strategies, while also allowing clinicians to identify patient groups that may need early intervention. 

Users can make changes to care plans, with the ability to include information about where citizens would like to receive care and arrangements necessary if they need to go to hospital. This information is updated instantly, and made accessible across London’s health and care network.

Matt Cox, Managing Director, Better UK & Ireland, said: “Working with OneLondon, we are proud to have unlocked the ability for health and care organisations to build dynamic care planning applications and share data in real-time across the capital. By establishing a platform of persistent data and creating a low-code environment we have transformed London’s digital care planning services, and we are looking forward to seeing the Better platform used to support Londoners, their families and professionals alike.”

Throughout the project, Better has worked in close partnership with South West London and InterSystems to migrate all existing care plans to the new platform, making sure patients and clinicians were unaffected by the transition and ensuring health and care professionals can continue to use the same systems they use today, with seamless single sign-on and patient context when accessing the Urgent Care Plan. Thanks to the collaboration from EMIS, TPP, Adastra, Cleric and Cerner HIE London Urgent care plans can now be accessed directly through these electronic patient record systems, without needing to login separately.

Murrae Tolson, Programme Director for the London Urgent Care plan, said: “I would like to personally thank our colleagues at Better for forging an effective partnership. This programme is the result of incredible collaboration between a massive range of stakeholders, including London Clinicians, NHS Digital, OneLondon, the London IUC team, Primary Care-, Acute and Community IT teams, Primary Care IT facilitators and Integrated Care System networks. I would also like to thank InterSystems, EMIS, TPP, Cleric, Cerner HIE and Adastra for their collaboration and professionalism. It will make a tangible difference for patients, with a truly joined-up approach to care.”

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