The development of a web based clinical portal is revolutionising patient care and clinician efficiency across Cumbria.
The availability of InfoFlex on every trust PC through a trustwide licence for InfoFlex is enabling North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to move away from paper based systems and to manage its data and information in a safer, more efficient and timely way, without the need for major disruption and cost.
- Better care as the doctor has all the information at their fingertips in a readily accessible form
- A safety net because InfoFlex can be set up to flag when interventions are due and includes an integrated handover tool assigning tasks and priorities to the next shift
- Saves time by pre-populating elements of formats such as discharge summaries
- Very easy to update whenever you see a patient
- Extremely efficient way to access all data and information about the patient via the searchable web-based clinical portal
- More reliable than paper systems which may or may not be available in time
- Safer because information is no longer locked away in doctors’ individual systems but is available centrally to all colleagues
- Smoother implementations and less disruption as data can be phased into InfoFlex, system by system
- Gives decision support by linking to a highly regarded clinical database
- Very clean and simple web interface for the clinician to interact with
- Intuitive – you don’t need a complex training programme to master it
- Very cost effective as a trustwide licence enables all clinicians to access InfoFlex and systems can be added in over time
- Saves time as it’s easy and quick for the IM&T department to configure.
- Helps the trust meet targets by proactively prompting screenings for certain patients
For CCGs & STPs
- Cost-effectively transforms quality of care through better management of patient information using InfoFlex in concert with existing hospital systems
“To enable clinical teams to make the best decisions for patients, access to the complete health record is required, extending beyond the traditional boundaries of hospital practice. Accessing a range of information sources including the GP record in a contextual fashion using our InfoFlex clinical portal means that those key decisions are supported by the most up to date information presented through a simple interface, which displays it rapidly and correctly. It’s just a much better way of doing things. Being so customizable means that we can easily bring additional resources into the portal view, further enriching the electronic patient record.”
Graham Putnam, Consultant OMFS, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Caldicott Guardian, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Recently it became obvious that the trust needed to move towards a system of digital records for patient information. The existing paper based system was slow to access, often incomplete, and difficult to search, especially if a patient had complex health needs. This coincided with the InfoFlex team developing a web interface. which provides a simple way of interacting with multiple information sources presenting the outputs in a contextual fashion for a given patient.
The trust decided to use InfoFlex to develop a clinical portal and work towards a paper light solution. This means that while existing systems such as PACS and ICE are still running, they can all be accessed in one place quickly and efficiently, via the InfoFlex clinical portal without the need for additional log ins. As more and more systems are added to the portal view, including ones such as the GP detailed care record which were not easy to access before, InfoFlex has become an electronic patient record for the trust. One of the biggest advantages of InfoFlex is its ability to interface with just about any system and bring it all together into a single view.
Because InfoFlex can meet specific clinical requirements and can work with existing hospital systems, you can build your digital record without any gaps, phasing in data, system by system, which makes for a much smoother and more cost-effective implementation across the trust, than trying to do the whole lot in one go.
Design and implementation
“Whenever someone has a new requirement we can check whether it has already been developed by another trust using InfoFlex. If they have, we can receive a copy of that design and alter it to our requirements. Most clinical systems are all about collecting data and that is what InfoFlex was developed for. There’s no other system where you can develop feature rich data collection systems and have the functionality users require without writing in code, meaning we can have new systems up and running in a fraction of the time.”
Mazhar Malik, Applications Developer, IM&T Services,
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
InfoFlex has a proven track record with this trust, beginning in 1997 when it was used to collect data on their head and neck cancer cases. Shortly afterwards they made the decision to get the trustwide licence and use it for multiple different systems. Over the years InfoFlex has managed their information needs for many systems and specialties. These include colposcopy, dietetic & nutrition, ENT emergency clinic, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, haematology, pain management, coroner’s death referral and a stent register as a reminder system to when the stents need removing, so helping to reduce clinical risk. There is also surgical pre-assessment, where there are 2 versions: a full one and a more recent ‘light’ version and medical photography, which allows for the storage and retrieval of medical photographs taken.
With the development of the web interface, the use of InfoFlex has expanded and there are now several key uses being developed, rolled out and piloted. The one which potentially makes InfoFlex the core system for this trust is the development of a clinical portal, which all clinicians can use, across all specialties, to access their patients’ data in an efficient and timely manner. Other important uses are for digital discharge summaries to meet national targets by ensuring they are with the patient’s GP within 24 hours of discharge, for cancer patient tracking and for an electronic admissions tool. This tool will proactively enable the trust to meet targets such as dementia screening, whilst also giving decision support to doctors and then flowing information through into the discharge process, ultimately making the management of information so much more seamless.