Utilising digital technology to enable whole-system integration in healthcare

integrated care, vitalhub
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Here, Lisa Riley, Vice President of Strategic Product and Partnership Development for the VitalHub group of companies in the UK, assesses how integrated digital healthcare is helping to transform the NHS

Integrated care aims to improve patient experience, achieve higher levels of efficiency and extract value from care delivery systems within a healthcare economy.

However, whilst integrating care delivery and enabling care providers within a local health economy to work together is an admirable goal, it is often very difficult to achieve. The aim of integrated care is to address fragmentation in services and enable more coordinated, continuous, and ultimately safer and improved care for patients.

integrated care, vital hub

Historically, the main barrier to achieving streamlined integration is having access to real-time data. Often the systems themselves do not have the ability or tools to communicate effectively, or they sit on servers not accessible outside of the host organisation, which makes it unviable for providers to integrate. The complexities involved in changing every system would make it extremely challenging and exceptionally expensive, so having the ability to use the existing infrastructure in an alternative manner, and joining the dots for them, is a preferable route.

Supporting this vision of integrated digital healthcare, is the UK VitalHub group of companies. The collective, is a leading group of health technology organisations, simplifying the complexities of data integration, in planned and unplanned care.

Our award-winning portfolio includes solutions from Transforming Systems, Intouch with Health, Synopsis and MCAP, and collectively they are playing a pivotal role in supporting the NHS to unite healthcare providers with a cross- system approach to care delivery.

Delivering digital transformation at scale, the range of innovative solutions includes tools to effectively manage patient flow, demand and capacity, discharge optimisation, whole-system visibility, patient activity and operational processes.

Playing a pivotal role in whole-system integration, Transforming Systems’ award-winning SHREWD portfolio of operational management tools takes complex digitised data from all providers within the wider health economy, including independent and voluntary sector partners, and creates instant, visibility of pressure, creating one single version of the truth.

The use of retrospective data to look at what could or should have happened in specific pathways is no longer necessary as SHREWD enables all users, whether strategic execs or front-line teams, to recognise early warnings in and around the wider infrastructure, to better inform them of what is going on, as it happens.

This utilisation of live data sharing helps to deliver the prescriptive intelligence required to empower decision makers with key information to better co-ordinate and streamline patient care services across any geographical footprint.

Providing a critical strategic overview of growing pressure, in both urgent and emergency and elective care pathways across a region, it helps to load balance and support mutual aid transfers between providers, enabling an integrated, tactical response to reduce pressure, resolve delays and improve care delivery services.

Further supporting whole system integration is the MCAP clinical decision support tool. MCAP, (Making Care Appropriate for Patients) enables clinicians to make objective, evidence-based assessments of whether patients are being treated at the right level of care, in the right place, based on their individual clinical need. The system is utilised by clinical teams, and wider system partners, as a ‘Single Version of the Truth’, to identify patients that could be safely moved to an alternative level of care, either on a different ward, in the community, or ideally in the patient’s own home, with or without support.

The Intouch with Health and Synopsis solutions consist of platforms for elective care services, supporting hospitals to manage entire patient workflows and optimise flow in outpatient care and surgical pre-assessments in an efficient manner. All of these solutions are integrated with the hospital’s PAS / EPR, creating a joined-up technological infrastructure at trust level that can also be scaled across geographical regions at ICS level.

We know that safe and timely performance in healthcare will continue to be an ongoing challenge, especially as a result of COVID-19. To help manage this, we must provide NHS teams with the tools they need to work more collaboratively, giving them access to data that is timely, accessible and easy to understand. Our UK VitalHub group delivers a comprehensive range of digital tools, spanning multiple pathways and sectors within health and social care, that enables them to work more effectively as a ‘bigger’ team.

For more information on the range of solutions available please visit www.vitalhub.com.

Please note: This is a commercial profile

© 2019. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license

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Vice President of Strategic Product and Partnership Development
VitalHub Group of Companies in the UK
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