A new system being implemented across North Mersey, the Isle of Man and North Wales will establish the UK’s first region-wide exchange of information for renal patients.
The North Mersey Health Informatics Service is implementing a data management system, CyberREN, which will allow information to be shared across hospitals and satellite sites, with the potential for including in-home monitoring of dialysis patients.
The system has already gone live at Aintree, Arrowe Park and the Royal Liverpool Hospitals, and will be extended across the Isle of Man and North Wales early next year.
The informatics service’s programme and business change manager, Jo Minogue Sharp, told eHealth Insider the region started looking to replace its legacy Proton system about six years ago, when it became non-compliant with new data standards.
She said that previously there had been no exchange of information between the different sites, which was a problem for patients if they were on the region’s transplant list.
“One of the biggest drivers for getting this was that a patient could have a lot of tests done at Aintree, for example, and then come to the Royal Liverpool and have another lot of tests taken, because we didn’t know what [Aintree] had had done.”
The new system interfaces with the hospitals’ patient administration and laboratory systems so all their information can be seen. The information can then also be accessed and added to from satellite sites.
The old Proton system will not be turned off until the transplant unit at the Royal Liverpool has gone live, which Minogue Sharp said would be early next year. Region-wide coverage should be achieved by the summer.
“Not only will we have the first system that is across a region, but we will also have the first system that can care for patients from cradle to grave,” Minogue Sharp said.
The CyberREN system has only been deployed in one other “very small scale” unit in North Staffordshire, Minogue Sharp said, but the HIS had decided the Canadian-developed system was the best fit for the region.
The HIS also has plans to use the system as part of a pilot monitoring patients who undertake at-home dialysis. “One of the things for patients at home is that they often feel quite isolated,” Minogue Sharp said.
The hope is that the system will enable clinicians to remotely monitor how patients are receiving treatment, and reduce the need for patients to phone their unit if they have problems with their dialysis equipment.
The service is working to secure the equipment needed to run a pilot with one patient, and hopes to start work in January.
© 2011 EHealth Media.