Infrastructure > Cloud

Islington picks BT to link up its health and social care systems

David Bicknell Published 28 January 2016

Five year, £7.4m contract to build, operate and manage interoperability service will underpin development of single integrated digital care record for 206,000 Islington residents


BT has won a £7.4m, five-year contract with NHS Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to join up the IT systems used by around 10,000 health and social care professionals in the borough.

The contract is an enabler - and an exemplar for BT - to underpin the development of a single integrated digital health record for each of the borough's 206,000 residents, giving them secure access to their own electronic personal health record.

The move will mark the first time that IT systems in Islington can work together or interoperate to enable clinicians and care workers in health and social care in the borough to be able to access all the data they need electronically. It also marks a milestone in bidding to achieve the government's target of all patient care records being digital, real-time and interoperable by the end of 2020 to support a move to integrated care.

Under the contract from NHS Islington CCG and the London Borough of Islington, BT will build, operate and manage a hosted interoperability service at one of NHS England's 25 integrated care pioneer sites. It will also develop a secure integrated digital card record which pulls together data from information systems in different care setting into a single place enabling health and care professionals to see a more complete view of a person's care.

The service is expected to be available in the autumn of this year for a selected number of Islington patients.

BT is not providing the interoperability service alone. It is choosing to work with partners which have proven credentials in supporting healthcare practitioners, including Nanthealth, Intersystems and MedeAnalytics.

Nanthealth will deliver a clinical and social care portal to provide a single point of access for care workers. It will support the management of a patient's information, enabling all those caring for a person to securely review and edit information via a single point of access. Nanthealth's patient portal will provide access to the person held record for Islington, giving individuals the information they need to participate in and manage their own care.

BT is also working with InterSystems, which specialises in software for connected care, on the integration capability which will enable organisations to capture, share, understand, and act on information in real-time for safer, improved and affordable care services.

The third key partner, MedeAnalytics, will provide its analytics platform, which will be used to analyse data to help improve outcomes for patients by using the ability to continually audit information through a business intelligence suite.

BT will provide the service delivery, including ongoing hosting and service management, to bring the service together.

In an interview discussing the Islington contract, Ian Dalton, BT's president of Global Government and Health, BT Services, said BT was excited about the contract for two key reasons.

"The ability to create a single real-time view of the person receiving services and for that to be shared seamlessly between full service providers is absolutely critical as a component of the way we deal with an ageing population that needs services from a range of different care providers. And I think the ambition around this is dramatic. This will join together 10,000 care providers across the health and social care system.

"Equally exciting, important and directional is the fact that it will create an integrated personal care record for 206,000 residents. Being able to access information about their own care, interact digitally with health services, and indeed enter readings or manage appointments, etc. The opportunity for people to hold, manage, and organise their own care as part of this, is equally exciting," he said.

"What this is not," Dalton added, "is a new centralised data repository. What this is is a federated model where the data remains in the purview of the organisations that create it. But by creating a powerful integration capacity that connects through to those information systems through APIs, then what we can do is provide a single common view of the patient that is actually in real-time.

"From a functionality point of view, what this will do is the minute something is entered into a record, the slice when the system is logged onto looks at the latest information on the patient and sucks that all together. So you have an absolutely up to date view of, say, test results."

Kable research director Andrena Logue said, "From a clinical perspective, we view this announcement as a catalyst, as it pulls so many of the critical elements together that are necessary for a fit-for-purpose integrated platform. From the ICT side, with cloud architectures not yet fully exploited across healthcare, practitioners can better appreciate how inherent risk can be mitigated at this level.

"Islington has consistently sought to harness technology to enhance quality of care, and this move clearly illustrates the clinical ambition across the community. The calibre of partner with which BT has aligned itself is further testament to its intent, with an at-scale platform designed from the outset to accommodate more local data stakeholders and additional technical partners over time. Digitisation in context has arrived."


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