Integrating services across health and social care is becoming reality.
Forward-thinking local authorities are working in collaboration with health to overcome complex information-sharing obstacles that, until now, have been the major stumbling blocks.
Information, integrated across entire health economies at patient level, is essential for better commissioning, enhanced reporting and for redesigning services to clients and patients in a way that identifies and responds to individual needs. It allows patient pathways to be understood so services can be modelled in new ways, enabling interventions to be precisely targeted to prevent hospital encounters.
Hertfordshire is a pioneer in attempting to achieve a genuinely joined-up local health economy, and is making real its plans to integrate services with ideas that have since been reflected in NHS England’s new care models.
Hertfordshire CC and two local clinical commissioning groups are creating a shared intelligence system, making integrated data available to heath and care professionals and commissioners. Collaborating with MedeAnalytics, confidential information is now de-identified before it leaves the data controller, allowing a lawful flow of data for important purposes including risk stratification. Authorised professionals with legitimate direct care relationships can re-identify patients so that they can execute intervention plans.
Frontline staff can make better informed decisions with visibility of a patient’s complete care pathway. David Hodson, head of information at East and North Hertfordshire CCG, sees this as key.
“GPs need to access information about the patient and know what social care packages there are so they can decide, in collaboration with health and social care partners, if that is the best care a patient can receive,” he says.
The de-identification process renders the data as ‘non-identifiable’, meaning that authorities are no longer required to submit arduous case-use applications for exemptions to make use of their data. This enables data linkage at patient level across all care agencies for a more integrated approach across an entire local health economy, while enhancing privacy protection.
There are other visionary councils and CCGs like those in west Essex which have developed a combined dataset from providers across health and social care, which Patrick Ruddy, assistant director for strategic projects at West Essex CCG, believes will help to improve outcomes and drive out inequalities: “For the first time this will enable commissioners and stakeholders to view across the pathways and understand which clients or patients we should prioritise.”
MedeAnalytics and Hertfordshire CC will discuss new approaches to safeguarding privacy and integrating care during London’s Commissioning Conference and MedeAnalytics will present at LGC & HSJ’s Integration Summit in June.
Wayne Parslow, general manager EMEA, MedeAnalytics
Column sponsored and supplied by MedeAnalytics: www.medeanalytics.co.uk