More than 1,400 health and care professionals in Camden have accessed information via a shared care record since the system went live last year.

The Care Integrated Digital Record (CIDR), run by Camden CCG, allows for patients’ information to be accessed by health and care organisations across the borough.

The record went live in January last year and is now accessible from 34 out 36 Camden GP practices as well as four trusts including University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Connected systems include EMIS, Cerner and SystmOne.

“Integration with EMIS has been particularly key in driving GP adoption by streamlining workflow”, commented CIDR programme manager Julian Young. “CIDR can be accessed directly from the GP system, without the need for an additional log-in.”

The organisations joined up to CIDR:

  • 95% of Camden GP practices
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Coordinate My Care
  • London Borough of Camden

“We spent quite a lot of time trying to make this the best possible offer for GPs and they’re probably the hardest audience to tackle as their systems tend to have the richest data in them already”, Young said.

He said one of the biggest challengers prior to CIDR was transfer of care, with the handover process being a little disjointed. “Where communicating isn’t always easy this acts as a bridge.”

The portal uses the Rhapsody Integration Engine and Clinical Portal, provided by Orion Health, together with NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index. According to Young, these partners helped overcome a core integration challenge to match an abundance of data held in different systems and in different formats.

Camden GP Ehsan Alkizwini, clinical lead for the project at Camden CCG, said CIDR has helped avoid unnecessary delays and duplicate testing, as well as reducing wasted appointments and cutting time spent chasing test results.

“It also allows us to reassure patients sooner. CIDR helps clinicians to make better informed decisions about patients’ care which may enable them to receive more appropriate treatment, sooner and safer.

“When results are not received in a timely fashion, it delays treatment and management of a patient, so they will be suffering longer because we are not sure how to proceed next.”

Digital Health News has reported extensively on the implementation of shared care records in various local health economies. Doncaster and Dorset both announced plans for such a setup earlier this year. In Somerset, use of the EMIS EPR Viewer has enabled A&E staff to see patients’ GP records.

The Hampshire Health Record, meanwhile, began as far back as 2005.

The benefits of an integrated record across health and social care has also been recognised at a national level.

The Summary Care Record, a key plank of the National Programme for IT, was formally launched in October 2010. The project was initially beset by concerns over privacy and consent, a controversy subsequently mirrored by the project.

CIDR: bringing it all together from CIDR Camden on Vimeo.