HISquest is an e-survey system from Leicestershire Health Informatics Service (LHIS) which allows the collection of real-time patient feedback. This technology has been upgraded by Leicestershire Health Informatics Service to offer its users the optional capturing and real time reporting of the Friends and Family Test to link in with NHS England’s new system to improve standards of care.
From December 2014, the Friends and Family Test will be available at all GP surgeries. It asks ‘would you recommend this service to a friend or family member’ and follows the roll-out of the test for patients staying in hospital. As in other areas of the health service, the overall results will be published online as part of a drive to improve quality and transparency. HISquest allows services to capture all the data required to ensure the care received by NHS patients are service users meets the criteria set out by NHS England.
The Friends and Family Test was created to provide services with the ability to identify the areas that service users feel that need improvement as well as recognising good practice in the quality of care provided to NHS patients and service users.
The test has been put into place to ensure the NHS remain vigilant to ensure that patients are not subjected to poor quality of care in the future which was discovered in the Francis Report.
The response for the Francis Report was published by the Department of Health and that was that the only acceptable answer to the Francis Report is that the NHS changes as a result of the findings. NHS England has been establishing a new system and responsive system with the quality of care at the heart of the system.
An 11-point scorecard has been created against which performance will be measured by direct feedback from patients and their families as well as feedback from NHS Staff. This quick, consistent, standardised patient experience indicator will provide organisations, employees and the public with a simple, easily understandable headline metric, based on near real-time experience.
· It will enable the views of patients and their families to be heard and provides a platform to shape and deliver better services. Patients will be able to use the information to make decisions about their care and to challenge their local trusts to improve services while championing those who excel
· It will mean that employees from ‘boards to wards’ will be informed and empowered to tackle areas of weak performance and celebrate and build on what’s working well, using the results from this test and other sources of intelligence
· Tracking trends in test results will also provide validation of where targeted improvements are most effective and results can be triangulated with other quality indicators and measures to provide more in-depth understanding of issues and areas of improvement
NHS England guidance on the Friends and Family Test aimed at NHS Trusts and other organisations can be found here.
An NHS Choices guide aimed at patients can be found here found here.
For more information on LHIS’s HISquest product or general IT support with regard the Friends and Family Test, please contact email@example.com.
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With changes in the economic climate, resources for the healthcare sector have been stretched even further - and time spent by healthcare workers in meetings is no exception. Meetings are of course necessary to help teams work together more effectively, but with more to do and less time to do it most employees find them very discouraging. Why?
Feedback suggests they can be ineffective and long, losing several hours a week preparing for and travelling to meetings when information could be shared in a simpler way leaving more time for the individual to implement changes. With an increase in collaborative working to help with specialist knowledge, the challenge is perhaps how to share this information without losing the personal touch – but without having to travel around the country to achieve this.
However it is now possible to hold cost efficient and effective meetings with no travelling time involved - Microsoft Lync holds the solution.
Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator) is an instant messaging client available for PC, Windows Phone, Android and iOS. It allows the user to communicate with their colleagues using methods such as Instant Messaging, Audio and Video Conferencing.
The main advantage of the system is that it is completely secure with SSL encryption and enterprise grade reliability, scalability and security. Features such as encryption, archiving, and call detail records offer aspects of built-in security and help meet regulatory requirements. LHIS host Lync on our own servers and network; maintaining control over sensitive data that would otherwise be transmitted over public telephone networks and third-party conferencing platforms, making it more secure than competing products.
Many services provide similar features but lack the security and flexibility that is provided by LHIS when using Microsoft Lync. LHIS have investigated and researched into other products and services such as Skype and Webex, however, Microsoft Lync is hosted locally and all data is encrypted to protect the user and the user’s data.
The other benefits include:
Low Cost - Voice over IP (VoIP) can cut call charges. Integrated audio, video, and Web conferencing helps reduce travel costs as well as the cost of third-party conferencing solutions.
Improve productivity - Rich presence information helps employees find each other and choose the most effective way to communicate at a given time. Instead of e-mailing documents back and forth for approval you can work in real time.
Support the mobile/home workforce - Mobile and home workers can collaborate with colleagues by PC, phone or smart phone and not come into the office.
Collaborate within other Microsoft products - Lync can allow users to integrate existing Microsoft products such as Outlook and SharePoint. Users can create online meetings directly from Outlook, check the availability of a colleague whilst on SharePoint, to name a few.
Desktop Sharing –Users can share any application from their desktop and give control to others, transfer files, create a whiteboard and share a PowerPoint presentation. This is great for support, training and collaboration as you can take control of other’s desktops.
Overall Microsoft Lync allows users to collaborate their work without geographical restraints, whilst minimising costs and ensuring all content is secure - could this be the future of all meetings?
For more information see http://www.leics-his.nhs.uk/Library/MicrosoftLync2010.pdf
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Clinical information systems (CISs) are used by GPs, hospitals and others to manage clinical and administrative information and to improve the quality of healthcare. The complex IT requirements in healthcare have led to the development of numerous CISs to deal with a range of requirements, such as the issues surrounding data maintenance, patient confidentiality and the concept of the paperless patient record. By collecting and integrating data these systems can deliver key information to the right staff so they can use all the facts to make effective, timely, proactive decisions.
EMIS and SystmOne are the CISs you are most likely to come across in our area. SystmOne is used by healthcare professionals across the UK and is predominantly used in primary care, though its use in secondary care settings is growing. Modules for GP, prisons, child health, community units and palliative care are currently widely used throughout the NHS and in the last year, a number of secondary care modules have begun to be rolled out. These include modules for community and acute hospitals, accident and emergency, maternity, mental health and social services.
The system, which now holds over 20 million patient records, has full document workflow management, text messaging, self-check-in systems and online functionality, all built into the core. It helps GPs to maximize QOF points, streamline their work processes and most importantly allows clinicians to concentrate on patient care.
Over the last couple of years we have been deploying SystmOne clinical computer system for GPs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and we have recently begun on EMIS web deployment as well. GPs can use either of these systems to:
· Replace paper-based medical records of registered patients
· Support health promotion and health screening
· Manage patients’ appointments
· Record the clinical monitoring of patients with long term conditions
· Generate prescriptions, manage repeat medicines and the electronic transmission of prescriptions
If we take a closer look at one of the function of a CIS we could consider the volume of medicines doctors prescribe which continues to increase as national policy and better informed patients drive health improvement. People are being screened and pro-actively treated, rather than waiting until they become symptomatic to find out they have something wrong with them. For example, a patient who is diagnosed as hypertensive may be managed with up to 3 or 4 medicines. If they also have other cardiovascular risk factors, they may be prescribed a statin and aspirin on top, so they can very quickly go from taking no medicines at all, to taking 4, 5 or 6 different ones. All of this information needs capturing, and it would be a hugely time consuming task for practices to do this manually, due to all of the cross referencing that needs to be performed. Modern computer systems can easily cope with this, which in turn allows information to be searched and grouped, allowing patient records to be reviewed and managed in the most appropriate way possible.
Prescriptions themselves have been generated by computer systems for some time, but they are increasingly being produced with bar codes. Special readers in pharmacies can scan the encoded information, reducing the risk of error in translation of the prescription. GP systems can produce batch prescriptions to enable repeat dispensing of regular medicines. This is usually more convenient for the patient and reduces some of the administrative work involved with repeat prescribing systems in practices. It will soon be possible for prescriptions to be sent electronically, directly to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice, eliminating the need for a paper prescription altogether.
Clinical information systems are continually increasing in functionality as they become more widely embedded across the healthcare sector. The facts and figures they can collate and generate support better management of services within the NHS and lead to greater coordination between the NHS and other care providers such as social services. The take-up of CISs across all levels of the NHS will provide the means for more informed decision making and ultimately lead to even better care for patients.
We can help
If you are interested in knowing more about SystmOne or EMIS please contact us
Links to more clinical systems info
A one-stop guide for clinicians involved in deploying IT systems – from NHS Connecting for Health
GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) - a scheme through which the NHS funds the provision of GP clinical IT systems in England
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GPs | Clinical systems
Rupal Patel, Communication and Marketing Officer, blogging for NHS Leicestershire Health Informatics Service, your one-stop-shop for information management and technology. Writing about some of the work we do, discussing IT issues, introducing some of our terriffic staff and generally shedding a little light on the world of health informatics. Visit our website at: www.leics-his.nhs.uk
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