North of Scotland Care Portal launched at Raigmore Hospital

Linking secondary, primary and community care, clinicians will have a more-complete picture so they can make more informed decisions

A clinical portal has gone live across four remote areas of Scotland

A clinical portal commissioned by four NHS boards covering some of the most-remote areas of Scotland has gone live and started to sign up clinical users.

The North of Scotland Care Portal, built using Orion Health technology, gives staff working in NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Orkney, and NHS Shetland a single view of patient information held in different IT systems across the boards.

Jim Docherty, NHS Highland clinical lead for eHealth, said: “This is all about giving clinicians quick and easy access to information.

“The NoS Care Portal takes information from many different systems and displays it all in one place and in context.

“It will save clinicians a lot of time and should make it much easier to care for patients who need to travel between NHS boards for treatment.”

The NoS Care Portal has been built using Orion Health’s Clinical Portal, which integrates IT systems and presents a clinically-relevant view of the patient data they contain.

This will save clinicians a lot of time and should make it much easier to care for patients who need to travel between NHS boards for treatment

In the north of Scotland, this means information currently held in the two patient management systems used by the four NHS boards and the three Scottish Care Information Stores in the region, which hold demographic data, lab results and clinical documents.

Staff will also be able to access images from picture archiving and communications systems and the national Emergency Care Summary.

The next part of the NoS Care Portal programme will GP and social care data viewable alongside the acute patient information, while further developments may include the rollout of Orion Health functionality to manage patient pathways and let clinicians set up collaborative worklists to support team working across the region.

Iain Ross, NHS Highland head of eHealth, said: “The NoS Care Portal went live on 18 December, but we didn’t want an all-singing, all-dancing launch over the busy Christmas period. Nevertheless, we delivered what we said we would deliver, which is a portal that integrates different IT systems, so a user can access one patient record across four NHS board areas.

“We have many more plans: but it is investment in the regional portal that has got us to this stage, and that will enable us to deliver them.”

The NoS Care Portal, which is hosted by NHS Grampian, has already established a link with the Orion Health Clinical Portal used by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the portal team is talking to two further NHS boards about linking to their Orion Health clinical portals.

This would be in line with the Scottish Government’s latest eHealth Strategy, which aspires to join up IT systems and make greater use of digital technology to support a single integrated health and care patient record.

The portal has been designed around the care priorities of stakeholders, so it’s great to see it starting to deliver on their vision of efficient and effective care for every patient

Gary Birks, general manager at Orion Health, said: “We are pleased to see the NoS Care Portal already supporting the needs of clinicians and their patients so soon after the go-live.

“The portal has been designed around the care priorities of stakeholders, so it’s great to see it starting to deliver on their vision of efficient and effective care for every patient.”

Through the portal clinicians will be able to see if a patient has an Emergency Care Summary (including KIS and Palliative Care data) and how complete it is before accessing the ECS, saving time that would be wasted if the information was not there.

It will display, in the same patient view, radiology reports and lab results conducted at one hospital alongside radiology reports and lab results conducted at another hospital in another NHS board area, for the first time anywhere in Scotland.

And clinicians will be able to access documents started at a service in one board and add to them and they will be able to see the additions when patients return to their home board.

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