Benefits of unlocking the health data

Our CEO Tomaž Gornik spoke alongside Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust chief information officer Andrew Forrest at Digital Health Rewired conference in London last week. In their session Doing best of breed right: start with the data!, they presented  the best way for trusts to make a success of the ‘best of breed’ approach to EHR.  They were among 150 speakers who discussed progress on interoperability, the use of data and analytics in modern healthcare.


The data need to be separated from applications

Tomaž Gornik pointed out that the lifecycle of applications and data is different, so we need to separate data from applications: “Today, each healthcare application stores data differently and every time the data is transferred a part of it is lost. However, the health data needs to be kept for the entire lifetime of a person and there is no application that would last 100 years or more. So we need to establish a way to manage health data that would withstand the test of time.“

The foundation for this is a standards-based, vendor-neutral clinical data repository with a strong interoperability layer and low-code toolkits that can support an ecosystem of best of breed health applications. Organisations can then deploy these applications according to their resources and the needs of clinicians and patients.

With this approach, the hospitals are able to take advantage of new technologies while keeping existing systems running, and to grow their ecosystem of vendor neutral clinical applications according to their needs and resources.


An approach, proven in practice

Andrew Forrest, the chief information officer of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust shared their experience in digital transformation of the Trust. It is the largest in Somerset and a global digital exemplar (GDE) and it has put the Better Platform at the heart of its digital transformation. At Rewired, Andrew Forrest explained how this approach had supported new ways of working. He emphasized the benefits of the open approach that include flexibility, agility, staff engagement and unlocked data.

Taunton and Somerset is using a clinical portal to give staff access to advanced clinical functionality. This includes Better OPENeP for closed-loop electronic prescribing and medication management and Better Form Builder to create clinical documents. The trust is also the first NHS trust to adopt Better Portal; a clinical portal for better patient management that enables healthcare organisations to support patients on a daily basis.

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