Marking International Nurse Day today, Person Centred Software, co-founder and director, Jonathan Papworth, discusses how the implementation of bi-directional software has empowered nurses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Revolutionary bi-directional software that seeks to deliver two-way interoperability has had a significant effect on the quality of care given by nurses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly launched integration between Person Centred Software’s digital care management system, Mobile Care Monitoring, and NHS Digital’s GP Connect and National Record Locator (NRL), provides nurses with instantaneous and direct access to resident GP records.
As a result, registered nurses at care homes can now access residents’ case histories at record speed enabling them to make faster and improved medical decisions, as they look to cope with the continuous demands of COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has showcased that the sharing of information is fundamental to help inform clinical decision making, which is crucial in saving as many lives as possible. Moreover, the unprecedented events of the last year have accelerated the need for information to be accessed quickly, securely and efficiently with those who need it, ensuring a smooth transition for people when they move between services.
Indeed, the pandemic has helped articulate attention towards the benefits that technology enables, while also removing obstacles that have previously hindered the care sector for decades, particularly the NHS enabling access of its data to social care. By improving interoperability of data and the incorporation of more joined-up care elements, our nurses have been able to overcome the relentless challenges the pandemic presented throughout the past year.
Having long campaigned for a more integrated health and social care system, the successful implementation of bi-directional software represents a significant milestone for Person Centred Software, where improving the quality of care from nurses has always been at the forefront of our ethos.
We are working directly with NHS Digital to bring GP information to care homes by combining our digital care management system with GP Connect Access Record: HTML. As a result, registered nurses are now granted access to secure and direct information held by GPs, enabling faster and better medical decisions to be made.
Undeniably, we are already seeing the impact interoperability can have on streamlining processes and boosting efficiency for nurses delivering care in social care environments across the UK.
Clearstone Care, a group of care homes across Surrey and London, has reported positive feedback from its nursing staff, who are logging into the system to access all relevant medical records related to residents, without having to chase individual GP surgeries.
Indeed, joined up care still has a few obstacles to overcome, notably in social care settings where management of access currently held within NHS systems is needed. To share data with the NHS, social care needs to be as responsible for the data as the NHS is, and that means following guidelines in accordance with the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) – which our software supports.
To maintain access to NHSmail, or share data with the NHS, care providers have to meet the vigorous, more stringent, DSPT. This will require an understanding of data security by a high percentage of people working in the social care industry, and a commitment to computer systems meeting certain criteria. DSPT is a gateway, however, not just to NHSmail, but to many more systems and data sources.
One of those data sources is, of course, GP Connect, where nurses are granted access to the medical records for the people they care for, in real-time, at the touch of a button. Inevitably, this will ensure that medication can efficiently be shared between different settings. This, in effect, will reduce costs to the NHS of wasted medication, which was estimated to be an eye-watering £300 million per year back in 2015. One of the leading contributing factors was medication being deliberately destroyed between care settings.
As a software provider, we have always strived to make life better for everyone involved in social care. Having effectively implemented two-way interoperability into health and social settings, there is a greater information flow to aid nurses during a transitional phase between care settings.
While the journey to integrate health and social care is well underway, and several care providers are already on board, there is still more work to be done. Nurses and care providers have been overworked immeasurably in recent months, and the reality is that they need more help. The first step any care provider can take on this journey is simply to plan, evidence and monitor care information in a digital care system, but not just any digital care system – it has to be one that will have the ability to connect NHS Systems via GP Connect.
Overall, digital care technology will need to continue to evolve and incorporate more interoperability, if the practices carried out by nurses are to be sustainable in a post-pandemic climate. Any care provider that refuses to adapt risks being left behind, and in doing so, is compromising our nurses’ ability to continue delivering outstanding care.
To find out more about connecting care homes to GPs, visit www.personcentredsoftware.com/gb/joined_up_care/gp-connect/.
To see the benefits of GP Connect click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONgWLJIPnNI
Jonathan Papworth is the co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, a market-leading digital care technology pioneer. Founded in 2013 to help improve the quality of life for people.in social care, Person Centred Software has become an award-winning global company with over 2,000 care homes in the UK alone using its digital care system.