Thirteen health and social care organisations in Lincolnshire will use an InterSystems portal to share patient information.

Lincolnshire Health and Care, which includes local clinical commissioning groups, acute trusts and the local authority, has invested in HealthShare and plans to go-live with the first phase of its record-sharing project in June.

Gary James, accountable officer at East Lincolnshire CCG, said the project was borne out of the region’s work on a new strategy design for the health and social care system, which involves reducing organisational barriers and delivering more care in the community.

As part of that strategic clinical programme, he was tasked with leading an IM&T enabling group. The group asked various clinical work streams about their aspirations and how technology might support them; and the number one request was to be able to see an integrated view of the patient record.

Lincolnshire Health and Care successfully applied for £1 million from the Primary Care Infrastructure Fund to support the project.

Phase one, due to go-live in June, will start by linking six systems including the main hospital patient administration system, Medway from System C, pathology and radiology systems and three mental health systems.

This initial phase will not pull information directly from GP systems, but will include a link to the patient’s Summary Care Record.

Integration with the GP system suppliers will be introduced around October, as engaging with the region’s 103 GP practices is “quite a job”, James explained. Around 70% of Lincolnshire’s practices use TPP’s SystmOne and the others use Emis Web or, in some cases, INPS.

“It’s going to be challenging but we’ve got the Health and Social Care Information Centre working with us on GP connectivity,” he said.

When rolling out to users, James said national policy requires them to prioritise A&E, GP out-of-hours, ambulances and the clinical assessment service.

Staff will also be trained to use the portal when the hospital deploys its new e-observations system.

“Deployment will be a mixture of opportunistic – if training people anyway – and targeted around policy priority areas,” he said.

Within year one he plans to have a fully functional portal deployed to as many staff as possible.

Consent to view will be requested from the patient at the point of care and if the patient is not present or unable to consent, a senior clinician can override this to view the record.

James said phase two of the project is likely to involve giving patients access to their information via the portal. In time, they will also be able to share their records with friends, family and care givers and potentially enter information into their record.

“That’s going to take some planning,” he acknowledged. “We have got authentication of patients in place already, but there’s a lot to work through such as help desk requirements.” 

In addition to the shared care record, Lincolnshire has invested in InterSystems’ Patient Index software, a shared information system that will help providers identify each patient, and its Spine Mini Services, connecting users to the NHS Data Spine.

Mark Palmer, country manager at InterSystems, said: “The HealthShare platform puts the clinician in control, providing all aspects of patient information that they need, when they need it.”