Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership has signed a deal for an openEHR platform for its regional medicines record.

Using Better’s openEHR and the Better Meds software solution, the agreement aims to integrate services across the 1.8 million population it serves.

Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership (HCP) will now be able to offer a shared medicines record via a centrally managed system when a patient is transferred to different health providers across the region.

The contract is the first step in the region’s strategy to provide a consolidated medicines record platform that is accessible by any authorised healthcare professional in any of the region’s care settings.

Andrew Thompson, acting digital health lead and chief technology officer at the HCP said: “Like many developing integrated care systems, we have a range of disparate data sets all over the region, embedded in different systems. This makes it very hard for effective sharing of information and has the potential for issues if a patient is transferred across care settings.

“We know that adopting a more unified approach, utilizing open data standards, will mean our patients will have a better experience and safer, more effective care. This approach fundamentally aligns with the direction of travel detailed in the new NHSE data strategy – Data saves lives.”

Better is now working with the region’s digital team to establish a patient centric consolidated medicines record to provide immediate access to vital information across the whole region.

It is hoped the platform, underpinned by open data standards, will bring together the medicine records from all care settings: primary care, secondary care, mental health, care homes, and hospices.

Crucial medicines information will be available at the point of care, enabling care teams to make better decisions, according to the HCP. It was also enable a real-time view of medicines administration.

Matthew Cox, managing director of Better UK and Ireland, said: “In an individual hospital setting, you can manage the data within your organisation using a single system. But if a patient is transferred from one care setting to another, there is a significant chance of an error being introduced into the person’s prescriptions, which could have very serious consequences.

“As we move to regional care under health and care partnerships, it is vital that the current interoperability issues impacting on the NHS are tackled. We are proud that Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership has chosen Better to support them in resolving this challenge in their region.”

Better is working across the UK with other Integrated Care Systems to implement regional medicines records based on the same open platform approach. The company is also working in parallel with NHSX to support the evolution of the national standards for medicines optimisation.