The discharge summary target

Graphnet has announced that its consortium of IT suppliers has successfully completed proof of concept witness testing for NHS Connecting for Health’s standards for electronic discharge summaries.

The standards have been developed as part of CfH’s Interoperability Toolkit and were published in January, with the aim of completing proof of concept projects by 31 March.

Graphnet Health, together with Oracle and Sun UK, PCTI and Microtest, was the first of five consortia to undergo witness testing for the proof of concept projects at the end of last week. Four more consortia are due to complete witness testing before 31 March.

Graphnet said that successfully delivering the solution inside the “extremely tight time scales” was a remarkable achievement, which demonstrated how cooperation and collaboration between health IT suppliers could work.

Dave Garnett, Graphnet chairman, added: “There is an urgent need for practical interoperability standards to make the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention agenda a reality.

"I was extremely impressed by the professionalism skill, hard work and dedication of our partners in this consortium and am certain that this collaboration will continue to produce innovative, cost effective IT solutions that will benefit patients and the NHS.”

CfH said around 16 suppliers were taking part in the proof of concept consortia, with other consortia including System C, InterSystems, Medisec, BlueSpier, Liquidlogic and INPS.

A CfH spokesperson told EHI Primary Care that after the completion of the proof of concept projects, it would look at the lessons learned and finalise the discharge summary standard definition before it was made available for wider consumption by the supplier community.

She added: “In addition, the feedback from suppliers involved in the proof of concepts, and the extent to which the suppliers have consistently applied CfH standards, will help steer thinking on the accreditation required for Interoperability Toolkit standards in the future, for discharge summaries and other Interoperability Toolkit service definitions.”

All NHS trusts are expected to deliver discharge summaries to GP practices within 24 hours of discharge from 1 April, although the target is expected to be missed by the majority of hospitals.

CfH said delivery of discharge summaries within 24 hours was not a target or performance managed by the centre but a contractual requirement managed between commissioner and provider.

It added: “PCT and NHS providers have been working towards the current contract requirement which will be monitored on a regular basis by the PCTs and providers.”