System C has acquired Careflow Connect Ltd, developer of the Careflow secure mobile communications system for clinicians and care professionals. 

The acquisition follows System C’s purchase of The Learning Clinic last September. The terms of the Careflow deal were not revealed.

Careflow is a Slack-like collaborative unified clinical messaging and workflow platform.  Use of the platform is said to reduce reliance on pagers, phone calls and unsecure services such as SMS messaging and instant messaging apps.

Careflow also provides clinicians with real-time clinical alerts, allowing them to manage referrals and handovers between teams, conduct confidential online patient conversations, and create lists of patients.

Dr Ian Denley, chief executive of System C, described Careflow as a transformational technology that will completely change the way clinical teams work together.  “It’s a bit like Slack for clinicians, and offers a fully mobile cloud-based solution.”

He told Digital Health News: “A lot of what we currently do in health and care at the moment is around electronic record systems. Where this slots in is that it starts to support communication and collaboration among clinical teams.”  

Denley added: “Our plan is to integrate with the Graphnet shared record, System C Medway electronic patient record, and even with Liquidlogic in social care.”

The product is currently in use at four organisations – East Kent Hospitals, University Hospitals Birmingham, Heart of England, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trusts.

The system has been used to enable clinicians to set up alerts and track specific groups of patients, such as those with sepsis, to communicate with colleagues in real-time, and take immediate decisions.

Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust is the biggest trust customer with 1,500 active users, with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust heading towards similar numbers.

“The Careflow system provides an easy way to get everyone together to make quick clinical decisions. This has fantastic potential for improving patient safety and ensuring the correct accountability,” said Dr Paul Stevens, medical director at East Kent Hospitals.

He added that East Kent Hospitals had seen a 20% reduction in hospital in-patients developing AKI stage 3 since introducing Careflow for acute kidney injury alerting.

“The resulting cuts in length of stay translate to significant cost savings for inpatient care and the potential savings from extending Careflow communication to all areas of the hospital may result in savings amounting to several million pounds a year for the trust in the future”, said Dr Stevens.

Both Dr Jon Shaw and Dr Jonathan Bloor, the founders of Careflow, will continue with the company.