A shared care record project is underway in Scotland to link up patient data from four of the country’s health boards.

From early 2019, NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland will be able to share information across primary, secondary and social care systems via on online platform provided by Orion Health.

The project will allow healthcare providers in the north of Scotland view data on patients throughout the region, with the view of providing better joined-up care to people living in the country’s remote regions.

A first phase will focus on enabling clinicians to access acute patient information and will involve the development of shared care record based on Orion Health’s Population Health platform.

This will pull together relevant clinical information from the two patient management systems (PMS) currently used by the four boards, as well as the region’s two SCI stores, PACS systems and emergency care summary data.

Colin Gray, country manager Scotland at Orion Health, said the portal had been designed around the care priorities of all of the involved health boards and their “shared vision” for a connected healthcare system.

Iain Ross, head of eHealth at NHS Highland, added: “The regional approach to data sharing that we are taking is driven by clinical priorities, and an understanding of the complexities of delivering joined up care in some of the remotest areas in Europe.

“Our patients flow across the region, but sometimes their data can be slow to follow them. By linking systems across primary, secondary and social care for the first time our clinicians will have the complete picture of a patient, ensuring they can make the most informed decisions. It’s about ensuring that the patient stays at the heart of everything that we do.”

NHS boards to link up health and social care data in Scotland

  • Four Scottish health boards will share patient data
  • Project aims to provide better care to people in remote regions
  • Clinicians will be able to view regional health data via an online portal
  • The platform will be provided by Orion Health
  • The project has been designed around the healthcare priorities of the four health boards

The second phase, due to be completed by early 2019, will allow healthcare staff to access information held within partnering GP practices and social care systems.

This will enable care providers to view health and social care information held on a patient, including any current care plans.

The project will also provide regional access to data stored in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Orion Health Clinical Portal, where patients in the North of Scotland are regularly sent for treatment.

The portal will be hosted by NHS Grampian and will use Orion Health’s integration engine Rhapsody and its clinical data repository products, to support the capture and presentation of data.

Dr Steve Baguley, clinical director of eHealth for NHS Grampian, said: “The new health and social care portal will increase the amount of data healthcare professionals will be able to see from day one. This will help us make better assessments of patients and improve care quality.”

Delivering better care to people living in remote parts of Scotland remains a key challenge for health boards in the country.

NHS Highland is currently piloting a fleet of satellite-connected ambulances designed to help paramedics give better treatment to critical patients during long journeys.

Meanwhile in England, there has been a flurry of activity around shared care records in recent months.

A new system linking health, social care and community services went live in Bolton in January of this year. This followed the preliminary launch of a similar initiative in Berkshire that covers 12 health and social care organisation in the region.

Speaking to Digital Health News in February, Leeds Teaching Hospitals CIO Richard Corbridge said there was significant interest in making a bid for Local Share Integrated Record Exemplar (LICRE) status in Yorkshire and Humber.