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Health and Social Care Northern Ireland Out of Hours Services improve efficiency with Electronic Care Record integrated into Adastra

14 October 2015 – Five Health and Social Care (HSC) Out of Hours Service providers across Northern Ireland have significantly improved delivery of faster, safer patient care by integrating The Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) with Adastra, a patient management solution from Advanced Health & Care (Advanced).

Since the integration was completed in September 2014, Adastra has been used by clinicians in out-of-hours settings to access 160,000 patient records.

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) is responsible for the administration of public health and social care (HSC) services in Northern Ireland. The organisation has five HSC Trusts (Belfast, South Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern) which manage and administer health centres, residential homes, day centres and other social care facilities to a population of 1.82 million.

The NIECR (powered by Orion Health Technologies) was established to improve the quality and safety of patient services by enabling the sharing of information from multiple, existing systems across acute, community, primary health and social care settings.

Gary Loughran, eHealth Programme Manager, Business Services Organisation at Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, explains, “We needed immediate access to rich clinical records to provide better, faster and safer care in the hospital and in the community. By consolidating our five Adastra systems into a single, central database which links to the NIECR we have been able to overcome information silos.

“Advanced’s staff were extremely supportive and understood the scale and importance of what we wanted to achieve and successfully delivered the project on time, and to budget.”

HSC clinicians in out-of-hours settings can now view accurate and up-to-date data within a single system. Essential information can be derived from each patient’s GP record including checking medication, adverse reactions and allergies with just one click. This has reduced clinical time when making assessments and increased satisfaction levels as patients do not have to repeat previously given details.

The ability to review recent hospital records and medical histories also helps to ensure effective patient management and reduces risk, whilst avoiding unnecessary admissions or referral to emergency departments.

Dr Graeme Crawford who works in HCSNI’s GP out-of-hours service, says, “The integration of Adastra with the NIECR has been of immense benefit for professionals and patients. We can now quickly obtain contact details for patients not already known to ‘the system’ when an abnormal test result such as cardiac, renal function and blood sugars is forwarded from a laboratory.

“Having immediate access to key clinical information ensures we can give safe and reliable advice to patients by telephone on every shift, rather than a doctor or nurse having to visit from possibly some distance away. This has made a huge difference and it is hard to imagine how we coped before.”

Further efficiencies have been gained within the medicines reconciliation on hospital admission process. Clinicians no longer have to telephone GP practices and wait for them to send a current and historical list of medications that a patient has taken as this information can now be accessed immediately in the NIECR via Adastra, reducing errors and discrepancies.

Loughran comments, “Adastra, by incorporating the NIECR, has enhanced the value of the out-of-hours services in Northern Ireland. To date, there have been over 160,000 launches of the NIECR from Adastra which has increased the effectiveness of clinicians to make better informed decisions.”


Notes to Editors

About Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI)

There are a number of organisations who work together to plan, deliver and monitor Health and Social Care (HSC) across Northern Ireland for a population of approximately 1.82 million.

Five HSC Trusts provide integrated health and social care services – Belfast HSC Trust, South Eastern HSC Trust, Western HSC Trust, Southern HSC Trust and Northern HSC Trust. HSC Trusts manage and administer hospitals, health centres, residential homes, day centres and other social care facilities, providing a wide range of health and social care services to the community.

HSCNI’s Business Services Organisation (BSO) has been established to ensure the delivery of eHealth IT programmes and projects throughout the HSCNI, and provides a range of support functions for the whole of the health and social care system.

About Advanced Health & Care

Advanced Health & Care (Advanced) is a leading provider of IT management systems for adult and children’s community, mental health, hospice, home and residential care services, as well as urgent and unscheduled care and clinical call centres.

Advanced focuses on providing innovative mobile IT applications for community based care, supporting tens of thousands of care workers and clinicians with integrated phone, software and airtime solutions.

Working with partners in the NHS, local government and the private sector, Advanced offers IT solutions in support of safe, efficient care delivery with integrated management information. Advanced’s unique proposition is its range of integrated care solutions offering visibility of information for both the commissioner and care provider.

Advanced Health & Care is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group Limited, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards. Advanced was also ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and ranked in the top 300 technology companies in Deloitte’s EMEA rankings.

Press contacts:

Angela Mycock and Ben Carey, Advanced Computer Software Group
E: T: +44(0)1625 856 513