Redcentric delivers live services to launch HSCN era

Two early adopter sites switch to HSCN network to connect health and social care

Redcentric has become the first provider to start delivering live HSCN system access to primary care and third-sector sites, the first company to do so following its achievement of stage two compliance.

Out-of-hours GP service, Devon Doctors; and Isle of Wight-based Earl Mountbatten Hospice successfully migrated from N3 to HSCN at the beginning of November.

Organisations certainly don’t need to fear change and the sooner they make the move, the sooner they can be exploiting the new digital landscape for health and social care

No service disruption was experienced and both projects were praised for their assured management and responsive teams, with particular plaudits for the effective partnership between Redcentric, NHS Digital, and the two early adopter sites.

Arron Gardner, Devon Doctors' IT manager, said: “Given that this was something new and very high profile, we could have been forgiven for being a little anxious, but from the outset the engagement has only been positive.

“While we appreciate that HSCN will usher in a greater digital maturity with the sharing of information and collaboration, we also see it as a catalyst for further innovation.

“It gives Devon Doctors improved scope for initiatives that can make a real impact on clinical care and outcomes and the patient experience. For example, we are already looking at using tablet computers to deliver virtual clinics and triage within nursing homes, while we have a wound management app that can now be accessed over HSCN.”

Richard Eason, Earl Mountbatten Hospice’s systems developer, added: “We’ve always been a very technically-progressive charity so were delighted to be in the first wave of HSCN sites.

“On any one day, we care for and support over 650 people in the places that they live across the Isle of Wight. Those patients and their clinicians and nurses are set to benefit from our first HSCN enablement project.

While we appreciate that HSCN will usher in a greater digital maturity with the sharing of information and collaboration, we also see it as a catalyst for further innovation

“Our core clinical system is SystmOne and those on home visits will be able to access it remotely, ensuring patient information can be checked and updated in real time, which, in turn, encourages a more-robust, quality approach to both records and care.

“We’re also very keen to explore future digital services that could link councils, social care organisations and relevant third parties to provide more-joined-up, holistic provision for those needing palliative care and for families needing specialist support.

“The potential is huge, and yet we’ve saved money, have far-superior connectivity and plenty of options for additional overlay services when and as we need them.

“The HSCN era is here, and now the onus must be on taking full advantage of that to the benefit of the island community.”

HSCN, which has been designed and built by NHS Digital in partnership with suppliers and customers, is the successor to the N3 network and connects the health and social care system through a highly-reliable private network and security-enhanced internet from a choice of suppliers. It provides a reliable, efficient, economic and flexible way for health and social care organisations to access and exchange patient records and other electronic information.

Mark Hall, Redcentric’s chief assurance officer, said: “As one of the first to achieve first stage, and then the first to reach second stage compliance, we’d have felt disappointed if we didn’t also get the hat-trick of being one of the first to deliver live services.

The potential is huge, and yet we’ve saved money, have far-superior connectivity and plenty of options for additional overlay services when and as we need them

“Both switchovers went very smoothly; a testament to the clear communication, responsiveness and accountability of the project management teams and the consistent engagement and support of both NHS Digital and the early adopter customers.

“Organisations certainly don’t need to fear change and the sooner they make the move, the sooner they can be exploiting the new digital landscape for health and social care.”

Tom Denwood, programme senior responsible owner at NHS Digital, added: "The successful launch sends out the message that HSCN is now open for business and there are so many great benefits that organisations can take advantage of by signing up for the service."

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