Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has deployed Healthcare Gateway’s Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) with the aim of giving healthcare staff in the region access to a wider view of patient data.

The MIG delivers real-time patient information to a range of health and social care settings. The shared data is supporting speedier admissions and safer discharges, by ensuring staff have full view of information to make safe, detailed social assessments.

The software has been designed to connect otherwise incompatible systems and has become a critical part of Calderdale’s data sharing at place level.

The MIG is able to plug gaps where patients admitted to hospital are unable to provide medical and historical details. It collates patient data such as demographics, diagnoses, social care plans, allergies, recent procedures, therapies and tests. This means acute clinicians can make treatment decisions quickly, avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent duplicate tests.

Hannah Wood, professional lead for Transfer of Care and SAFER Transformation Programme, at Calderdale, said: “It particularly benefits patients who are unconscious or find it difficult to speak up for themselves – people with learning disabilities, special needs or dementia. We can see everything from their GP’s management plan to their social care contacts.”

The system is also saving healthcare workers valuable time by eliminating the need to chase up GPs, or care agencies by phone to check information. This frees up clinicians at both ends to spend more time with their patients. In addition, prescribers are able to see a list of medications directly obtained from the GP record, which is more up-to-date than the summary care record.

Data can be accessed without the need to log into a separate portal, further saving clinicians time.

The benefits of the wider patient view also stretch to district nurses and other community health workers.

Louise Byrom, clinical manager for the trust’s community division, said: “Access to patient medical and medication history has streamlined day-to-day working and ensures that patient management and safety is at the forefront of planned and unplanned district nursing care.”

The benefit of the MIG is that it can quickly extend its reach to many other systems. Upcoming connections within Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust include mental health records and ambulance data, with social care also gaining access to EPR data. The MIG is also in use by urgent care staff in London, where its use was extended in August 2020 in light of the pandemic.