Better and Avenue3 chosen by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS FT to launch integrated health and care platform

Better has been chosen by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to provide a digital health platform that will help health and care partners to more easily and securely communicate about a person’s care.

The vendor-neutral platform based on openEHR technology will allow authorised health and care professionals to access information in real-time, contribute towards a single care record, and use low-code development tools to create applications for use at the point of care.

The new platform, expected to go live later this year, will support the Trust’s ambition to digitise and integrate mental health and learning disability services across its geographical area and underpin the transformation of services.

Better digital health platform, built on openEHR open-data standards, will be used to store data, and engineering specialists, Avenue3, will support this roll-out by implementing a cutting-edge mental health patient portal on top of the platform. The portal will be co-designed with service and system users and the initiative is set to enable significant enhancements in the quality of care.

Dr Ayesha Rahim, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Information Officer at Surrey and Borders Partnership, said: “Improving care for people who use our services drives all that we do. Moving to a secure open data platform opens up opportunities for us to better share valuable information with health and care partners to offer timelier and more joined-up care. We will be co-designing the patient portal with people who use our services, their families and carers and clinicians to ensure that it is built around meeting the needs of users.” 

Mike Cavaye, Acting Chief Digital Information Officer at Surrey and Borders Partnership, said: “Surrey and Borders Partnership is on a journey to join-up data and connect health and care services around the person and the care pathways they are on. Open data is the bridge between our EPR and these clinical pathways. The work of a mental health provider covers many different services and partners and the platform will allow the Trust to build apps so that it has bespoke tools which are fit for purpose in the key areas it needs them for.” 

Darren Ransley, Managing Director UK&I at Better, said: “Unified and readily available patient data is the lifeblood of any healthcare organisation. We are delighted that a trust as innovative as SABP has selected Better and our digital health platform to support their integrated care journey. We are seeing momentum towards healthcare organisations choosing digital health platforms, open data, and open standards and are happy that Surrey and Borders Partnership is leading the way for mental health providers in England.”

Users of the new patient portal will be able to record and track their own outcome measures from any device with a web browser. It will enable the data to be reflected on the person’s electronic patient record within the current ecosystem at the Trust, enabling clinicians to support people who use the Trust’s services to take greater control of their care.

The Trust plans to build on the initial applications, with the potential for the portal to expand, enabling people to view and manage appointments, correspondence and care plans and for further data to be shared between health and care providers to enable more joined-up care, shaped around the person.

A second phase of the project will enable key data about a person’s physical health held by other health and care providers to be captured within the #Trust’s patient record, supporting the NHS Long Term Plan’s target to increase physical health checks for people with severe mental illness. Adults living with severe mental illness have an almost five times increased risk of dying prematurely compared to those without, and regular monitoring enables targeted follow-up interventions. 

Phil Bottomley, Chief Executive Officer at Avenue3, said: “We’re committed to driving innovation in healthcare while enhancing patient engagement and clinical efficiency, and our partnership with Surrey and Borders Partnership is an exciting next step. Our design is based on our experience of successfully engineering an openEHR Patient Engagement Platform at The Christie. We understand openEHR clinical data modelling and low-code form building and will use our experience to act as an extension of the Surrey and Borders Partnership team to ensure a secure system with a high level of data quality.” 

The solution will save clinical and administrative time, reduce waiting times, DNAs, and crisis admissions, and ultimately improve care quality and recovery rates. Using openEHR to provide a vendor-neutral data layer will provide a core foundation for unifying mental health and learning disabilities data into a patient-centric longitudinal record. The combined use of FHIR and openEHR will support integration with partners in the Trust’s geographical footprint, enabling the development of tools supporting integrated workflows.

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