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Frequently asked questions

Answers to your questions about funding, why this is important, how you could benefit, and the types of healthcare system integration already underway.

What funding is available and for how long?

The funding available is dependent upon local health communities defining their requirements. Approval will be sought in order to fund systems integration during 2012-13.

Why should I be looking at cross-community systems integration? 

The Department of Health’s guidance on the Functions of Clinical Commissioning Groups, asks Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to: ‘Act with a view to securing that health services are provided in an integrated way, and that provision of health services is integrated with provision of health-related or social care services, where the CCG considers that this would improve quality of services or reduce inequalities’.

As a local, customer-led initiative, supported by a central procurement team, the South Integration Programme will support the delivery of improved integrated care across health communities through sharing and linking clinical data from existing point of care, provider-based systems.

How could my local health community benefit from cross-community systems integration?

Cross-community integration could support business problem resolution by improving clinical data availability thereby providing better patient outcomes; reducing costs and implementing the information strategy.

If your local health community wishes to participate, the benefits are significant in number of areas, not least the 3 listed below:

  • A consolidated view of key patient information across a local health community generating significant efficiencies from cross-organisational liaison on patient notes;
  • Support for service reconfiguration by providing access to patient records where and when needed, and allowing patients access to these records to support their care;
  • Deployment without needing to replace existing systems.

What types of healthcare system integration have already been undertaken? 

Integration technology is not new. There are a number of locations already using or delivering solutions:

  • Renal Patient View – providing up to date medical information for patients and healthcare professionals 
  • NHS Lothian Clinical Portal – using portal technology to bring together healthcare communities in a consortium representing the north, west and east of Scotland.
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and the Clyde – using clinical portal technology to share electronic patient records across greater Glasgow and Clyde region in Scotland.
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – delivering enhanced electronic patient records by integrating a new solution with existing IT systems.
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – creating a more patient-centred approach using clinical portal and information systems integration
  • NHS Isle of Wight – integrating the information held in ten different core systems, to support emergency and urgent care patient information needs as patients move through different stages and areas of care. 
  • CSAM – developing clinical software solutions and delivering interoperability solutions to enable secure, complete information sharing between legacy systems; patient administration systems, maternity and oncology solutions.

This is a small selection of integration programmes – no preference to any supplier is intended.

More information on possible types of integration and technology is available from Intellect.