NHS Warrington CCG and Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust are working with HCS to develop a care coordination service to identify high-risk patients and reduce readmissions.

The HCS Care Coordination service, part of the HFMA family, will work with community and acute clinical staff to provide expert guidance and advice as part of a system-wide approach being run by the CCG.

Warrington will implement two HCS Care Coordination service modules, Readmission Manager and MobileCare, enabled by Net.Orange’s clinical operating system.

Readmission Manager is designed to reduce preventable hospital readmissions by identifying high-risk patients, enhancing the management of discharge planning and supporting more effective transitions of these patients to non-acute care settings.

MobileCare will support pro-active management of patients across care settings through applications running on handheld devices.

Jason DaCosta, director of IT at the CCG and Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust, said the aim was to deploy by March next year.

"NHS Warrington CCG’s Long Term Conditions and Frail Elderly Improvement Programmes aim to improve services for patients and their carers by shifting from a reactive, hospital-based system of unplanned care to a preventive, anticipatory, whole-person approach,” he said.

“We are doing quite a bit already around readmissions, this gives us an opportunity to speed things up and plug some technology into it.”

DaCosta said one of the critical things to be addressed was the new information governance rules affecting risk stratification tools. Dame Fiona Caldicott’s report on IG recently concluded that commissioning functions could be done without patient identifiable data.

He said the CCG wanted a long-term solution to this before going live. This could involve asking patients up front if their data could be used.

He added that projects looking at long-term conditions and scheduled and unscheduled care admissions were estimated to save £7m across the region over the next year.

DaCosta was enthusiastic about IT leaders being involved in new service designs.

“The potential is only just beginning for how technology can change things. My job going forward is about educating people about the art of the possible,” he said.