The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) is seeking a software developer to create a new online platform where information about private consultants can be shared.

IHPN, which represents independent providers of both NHS and privately funded healthcare, hopes to create a database that will host a “definitive record” for doctors working in the independent health sector.

Labelled the Consultant Information Sharing System (CISS), it will allow healthcare providers to share information about private doctors in the interest of patient safety, while aiming to reduce administration and duplication by both providers and consultants.

In doing so, IHPN said the system would improve transparency by offering a “consistent and common view” across all health and care organisations where a consultant practises.

David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said: “Having a single, reliable and definitive record of doctors working in independent healthcare providers is key to improving medical governance in the sector and ensuring that patients can have confidence that they are receiving the safest possible care.

“This is an exciting and innovative project and we are keen to hear from any software developers who are looking for an opportunity to establish a robust online platform that will have long term benefits for the millions of patients who receive care in the independent sector every year.”

The chosen developer for the CISS platform will work with IHPN and the CISS governance group to ensure the system meets the specific requirements of the sector, and will be tasked with adding new functionality to the platform after the initial system is delivered, based on user feedback.

Efforts to improve transparency in private healthcare have increased in line with calls from regulators.

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) was established in the UK in 2014 by the Competition and Markets Authority, after the watchdog found that there was too little independent and credible data on private hospitals available to patients.

PHIN has since published initial performance data for over 1,000 consultants working across private healthcare in the UK.

Developers who would like a copy of the CISS specification or wish to register their interest should contact by 17 September 2019.

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