Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group has gone live with a shared care record.

Launched last month, Doncaster’s Integrated Digital Care Record (IDCR) interlinks data from five care providers and local authority systems, as well as some 40 GP surgeries.

Data from the system is being used by rapid response teams to assist older patients who have suffered a fall or deterioration in health.

An initial go-live date set for March 2018 was pushed back following delays in proof-of-concept stages.

Speaking to Digital Health News, Andy Clayton, head of informatics at Doncaster CCG, said: “Our aspiration was get the POC up by November or December 2017. However, we didn’t achieve that; we had a number of things that we needed to get through – technical and governance.”

The procurement process for the ICDR was overseen by Channel 3 Consulting on behalf of Doncaster CCG.

Gareth Dellenty, consulting partner, suggested that the timescales were “purposely ambitious and quite aggressive”.

He added: “We wanted to get some momentum behind the project. The reality is that there are so many moving parts in these regional projects that they’re probably some of the most complicated health informatics projects you can undertake.

“Data quality is a huge challenge. Technical integration is an challenge. Information governance is a big challenge. It’s complicated enough to deploy a system within an individual organisation – doing it across a region is really, really complex.”

Conversations with Orion

There are presently 350 users of the Doncaster IDCR, with plans to expand this to 500 in the coming months.

The systems covers some 300,000 patients in the South Yorkshire town using technology from Orion Health.

Orion was selected as supplier in November 2017. Since then, the firm has faced increasing financial pressures and recently sold off its Rhapsody business, which provides the technology behind a number of major shared records projects in the UK.

Clayton noted that this fact hadn’t passed him by: “From a strategic position, yes, it’s a concern and we’ll be speaking to Orion, just to determine what their future plans are.”

However, both Dellenty and Clayton stressed the work on the IDCR had not been directly impacted.

“Operationally, while we’ve been hearing concerns about Orion’s financial stability, we haven’t experienced any issues working with them on the ground,” said Clayton.