Sharing patient data via the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) is boosting efficiency and helping to save lives among 1.1m people in the Nottinghamshire area.
Ninety-two per cent of staff say the MIG from Healthcare Gateway has helped them to improve overall patient care*. The MIG lies at the heart of the ever-evolving Connected Nottinghamshire (CN) data sharing network, making vital, real-time information from 143 GP practices across six CCGs available to a wide range of NHS users including hospital doctors and nurses, social care workers and ambulance staff.
“We wanted to improve health and social care data sharing,” said Andy Evans, Programme Director at Connected Nottinghamshire. “After extensive research, we chose the MIG in 2014 as a low cost, high value tactical solution that we could deploy easily. We can summarise complex data from any source and share it widely to other systems via the MIG very quickly. We are now making information from over 90% of GP patient records available, compared to 15% in 2015.”
CN’s first target was to make patient records, including a supportive care dataset, available for acute emergency care and out-of-hours clinicians.
Shared medication data via the MIG was directly responsible for saving one overdose patient’s life and has also helped GPs and A&E doctors to spot attempts to obtain multiple medications – preventing unsafe duplicate prescribing. CN’s evaluation estimates record sharing has taken two minutes off every consultation (adding up to over half an hour in each clinician’s day) and reduced hospital admissions by one, per clinician per month.
The major benefit has been to make accessing medical histories quick and easy for clinicians, letting them make better informed decisions about assessing, prescribing, referring and planning care for patients. The additional dataset supports decisions around end of life care and treatment while recognising a patient’s wishes and preferences.
GP Dr Anita Bloor, Senior Medical Advisor at out-of-hours and urgent primary care provider NEMS, said: “Access to live primary care records via the MIG gives our doctors and other out-of-hours clinical staff the vital information they need to make safe, effective and appropriate decisions. We now look at the patient’s GP record in almost every case we manage and, if it’s not available for some reason, it’s like having one arm tied behind your back. Immediate access to GP records can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, which is particularly important with frail elderly people.”
The MIG worked so well that within two years of its launch in Nottinghamshire, it was enabling record sharing across many healthcare organisations including out-of-hours services, multiple hospitals, 111 staff, GPs, community carers, mental health workers and many others. Via the Midlands Accord, CN has crossed regional borders to share data with organisations including DHD 111 and the East Midland Ambulance Service.
“The MIG saves time otherwise spent contacting GPs and other trusts to obtain information,” said Leanne Alder, Research Radiographer at Nottingham University Hospital. “We can more easily check which other medications patients are taking for any potential drug interactions and it also stops patients getting annoyed that GPs and hospitals don’t talk to each other.”
* [Independent benefit analysis conducted by NHS direct with clinical staff using MIG]