NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has signed a deal with Orion Health to develop an integrated digital care record (IDCR) to support older people at home.

The IDCR is being piloted by a rapid response team that has been set up to support people at home after a fall or deterioration in their health, and prevent unnecessary visits to hospital and repetition of information.

According to Orion Health, a population health management company, (the pilot) in its first seven months, helped 207 people – with 83% able to stay at home with its support.

Prior to the IDCR pilot it has been difficult for the CCG to share vital information, Debbie Aitchison, head of strategy and delivery for intermediate care said.

“The team have had to go back to using some paper, because the different health and care IT systems don’t talk to each other,” Aitchison said. “The IDCR should change all that. It has really highlighted just how important technology is to a service like this.”

Andy Clayton, head of health informatics, said: “Like other health communities, we were asked to draw up a local digital roadmap. That confirmed what we already knew – which is that there is not much information sharing going on in Doncaster.

He said as a result they created a plan for a local IDCR.

“We wanted to run a proof of concept, so we formed an alliance with the intermediate care team, which had already discovered how problems with information sharing can hold up the transformation of care,” Clayton said.

If the proof of concept is successful, the IDCR is likely to be extended to other services, as Doncaster develops a new model of joined-up care across the borough.

“We already have clinicians wanting something similar for children’s services, urgent care and end of life care.”

To help find a supplier for the IDCR, NHS Doncaster CCG used the London Procurement Partnership framework and ended up picking Orion Health because, “it could demonstrate that it had already delivered effective information sharing projects in the UK and best met the requirements.”

These include a clinical portal that is in use at the neighbouring Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a shared care record that is being implemented by NHS Dorset CCG.

In its first phase, the IDCR project is integrating systems from the local acute trust (CaMIS PAS, Symphony A&E system, and JAC pharmacy system), community services (SystmOne Community), local authority (Carenotes), GPs (EMIS Web and SystmOne) and out-of-hours service (Adastra).

The initial deal was signed in June and covers licenses for 350 staff.

The IDCR is expected to go live early next year, and will be evaluated for six months.