The guiding principle behind StHK HIS’s approach to service delivery is safeguarding data at all stages while ensuring staff find IT easy and efficient to use. StHK HIS recognised that meeting the ‘Nicholson Challenge’ – an initiative which has tasked the NHS to drive cost savings of around £20 billion by 2015 – would demand increased efficiencies in working practices and its IT deployments have been targeted to work towards this goal.
StHK HIS has led the way in making efficiency savings through innovative use of technologies which enable its users, both on the clinical and administrative side, to adopt more streamlined methods of working. Ultimately the goal is to improve the quality of service that clinicians can provide to their patients.
A number of systems such as bed management, electronic order communications and e-discharge have been deployed to achieve this goal and have so far resulted in significant financial savings, with the electronic document management system alone saving £3.2 million over five years.
The vision was to create an interconnected environment whereby patient records could be accessed and read across different care environments – primary, secondary, and community based – increasing the amount of information flowing through the HIS and providing clinicians with the data they need at the point of care. This need was fundamental to ensure StHK HIS could provide an NHS-centric service offering patients a higher quality and safer patient experience.
With an EPR system in place, StHK HIS users have benefitted from simplified access to services as well as better quality data at the point of care and a reduction in administration and duplicate testing. However, StHK HIS’s governance team recognised that there was an increased sensitivity around security when accessing medical information. Secure access management needed to be addressed and a system which could actively improve the speed and ease of accessing data across primary, secondary and community environments while simultaneously improving security was needed.
To assist in this task, StHK HIS consulted its technology partner, ITHealth, an expert in the delivery of secure access management solutions to NHS organisations. ITHealth had extensive past experience of successfully deploying healthcare IT and workflow solutions at NHS organisations including Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to name a few.