FHIR Care Records Transfer: UK NHS
NHS Digital: Healthcare Challenge: Inefficient paper-based transfer processes causing delays in patient discharges to social care providers.
NHS Digital, a prominent player in healthcare technology, recognised the pressing need to enhance patient transfers by digitising the cumbersome paper-based forms used in the process. With the goal of streamlining transfers, improving resource utilisation, and ultimately enhancing patient outcomes, they embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with PretaGov, a leading technology specialist in low-code platforms.
Traditionally, when patients were discharged from hospitals, vital information about their ongoing needs was handwritten on paper forms and transmitted via fax to social care providers. While this method had proven reliable, it was time-consuming, prone to errors, and lacked seamless data exchange between disparate IT systems used by hospitals and care providers. The existing challenges made it difficult to ensure effective communication and continuity of care.
NHS Digital, in partnership with PretaGov, sought to revolutionise patient transfers by leveraging a low-code eform platform. This innovative solution allowed non-technical personnel to rapidly build electronic forms that output data in a digital format, ensuring compatibility with existing health sector standards. By employing MESH or APIs, the forms enabled smooth data collection by receiving organisations, effectively overcoming the longstanding interoperability obstacles.
The implementation process was streamlined and cost-effective, as it eliminated the need for expensive professional services from external suppliers. Instead, a business analyst from NHS Digital collaborated with an expert in HL7, the international framework for sharing electronic health information, to develop electronic discharge forms. This collaborative effort exemplified the power of PretaGov's low-code platform, making it possible for almost anyone to build complex electronic forms quickly and efficiently.
To simplify the workflow further, the solution was delivered through PretaForm, PretaGov's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, hosted on their secure Government Cloud platform. This approach eliminated the burden of hardware and software installation, allowing organizations to seamlessly subscribe to PretaForm and access it through a user-friendly URL.
Results and Benefits
With NHS Digital's electronic forms in place, the transfer process experienced a significant overhaul. The adoption of standardized electronic forms aligned with HL7 FHIR brought about numerous advantages:
Streamlined Processes: The implementation of eForms dramatically reduced the time spent on handwritten summaries and manual data entry, leading to more efficient and expedited discharge processes.
Improved Data Accuracy: By eliminating handwritten notes and faxes, the risk of errors and misinterpretation was significantly mitigated, ensuring that accurate patient information was readily available for social care providers.
Enhanced Resource Utilisation: The digital transformation allowed for better utilisation of NHS resources, as hospitals and social care providers could assess and discharge patients more productively, freeing up valuable resources for other critical tasks.
Seamless Interoperability: The low-code electronic forms acted as a vital connector, enabling the swift exchange of data between various systems across the healthcare landscape. This interoperability breakthrough proved instrumental in overcoming the longstanding barriers to effective data sharing.
NHS Digital's collaboration with PretaGov ushered in a new era of efficiency and connectivity in patient transfers. By adopting low-code electronic forms, they successfully streamlined the discharge process, reduced delays, and ensured patients received the care and support they needed promptly. This case study exemplifies how innovative technology solutions can revolutionise healthcare operations, enabling better outcomes for patients and paving the way for a more interconnected future.