This week’s healthcare news round-up delves into a progress on e-referrals in Ireland, how doctors are getting involved in healthcare social media platforms, and some clever tech from Lincolnshire.

Ireland eReferral roll-out complete implementation complete

Every hospital in Ireland can now receive electronic referrals after full implementation was completed in July. The roll-out started in August last year and by May more than 10,000 referrals a month were being made through the new system, or roughly 15% of all referrals.

The change allows GP to submit an e-referral from within their IT system to a hospital and be informed that it has been received. It also enables the hospital to inform the GP when a patient has been triaged.

Ireland has an ambitious healthcare IT strategy in place. The next phase of the programme, which will start later this year, will be to scale the communication of e-disharge notes and digital medicine reconciliation reports, and to give patients access to digital copies of this information.

Lincolnshire ulcer tool attracts US interest

A clinical tool developed in United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to help reduce the number of pressure ulcers in patients has attracted international interest.  The Pressure Ulcer Notification Tool, or Punt, is an online system that allows staff to record, monitor, report and review reliable pressure ulcer data for hospital patients.

The trust reports that it has reduced the incidence of pressure ulcers among inpatients from 40% to 0.9%. The trust has now entered into a licence agreement with United States-based company Bruin Biometrics, which develops sensor-based diagnostic equipment. The company will use Punt in conjunction with its devices to review ulcer data.

Patients Know Best has more projects underway

The UK based med tech firm, Patients Know Best, is working with North Manchester’s Regional Infectious Disease Unit. The company said recently that patient controlled records are now in use by more than 2000 HIV patients, in a project that started in 2014.

In Plymouth, Derriford Hospital was one of the first English NHS trusts to manage all of its HIV patients through Patients Know Best. In another project that started in 2014, the system is being used by 300 HIV patients across the region.  Every single GP letter gets put on the patient-controlled record platform, regardless of whether a particular patient is using it or not.

Two new “healthcare communities” launched

HealthUnlocked and Doctify will host two new “healthcare communities” for pregnant woman and people with skin conditions. HealthUnlocked is health focused social media platform that hosts online communities for private, public and not-for-profit health organisations.

Doctify is website and app that allows users to find, rate and book appointments with a specialist. For the new communities, the two platforms will support peer-to-peer interactions and enable users to post questions and have them answered by Doctify consultants.

Patientrack projects bag awards

Patientrack has been recognised in awards in three countries in the past few months. These include accolades in England, Scotland and New Zealand. In June, an implementation at NHS Fife won a digital health award at Holyrood’s Connect ICT Awards.

In the same month, work at the Canterbury and Waitemata district health boards in New Zealand won the country’s first Health Information Technology innovation award. In England, several NHS trusts, including Western Sussex Hospitals and Central Manchester University Hospitals, that use Patientrack were finalists in patient safety awards.