Jonathan Papworth, co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, says going digital is the first step on the journey to integrated care.
Social care is only one step in the journey of care for people, and whilst it may be a significant part of someone’s life, there are many other people involved in their care beyond the care home or carers.
GPs are involved in prescribing medication, and medication has side effects that can impact different care needs. The more joined up the different elements of care are, the more likely everyone is to achieve the best outcomes.
The opportunity for truly joined up care will soon be within our grasp. Already, there are several projects that send and receive information digitally to NHS systems using a number of different interfaces. GP Connect is a significant component of information systems used within the NHS, and this is being opened up to the more advanced digital care planning systems used in social care. The intention is that GP Connect will ultimately be capable of supporting a shared care record that encapsulates a person’s entire care needs and will be available to any organisation that provides care for the person.
The journey to a fully integrated social care and health care system has started, and several care providers are already involved in the journey. The first step any care provider can take on this journey is simply to store 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 to NHS systems via GP Connect.
Ultimately, any care provider who truly cares about the quality of care and is not already using one of the digital care systems that are working with GP Connect, risks being left behind and in doing so, compromising their ability to provide outstanding care.