Clinical commissioners in Peterborough have bought Plain Healthcare’s PathFinderRF system for referral decision support and clinical communication.
Two locality commissioning groups, part of the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire clinical commissioning groups, will use the system, which was originally developed by Northamptonshire GP Dr James Findlay for the Nene Commissioning Group.
Plain Healthcare acquired the intellectual property rights to sell and manage development of PathfinderRF last year.
The purchase by Peterborough is the second commercial sale for PathFinderRF, which was also bought by two CCGs in Lincolnshire at the end of last year.
Dr Rhiannon Nally, a GP with the Borderline Locality Commissioning Group, said 50% of the cost of the PathFinderRF system had been met by the Borderline and Peterborough LCGs and 50% by Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
She told EHI Primary Care that the LCGs believed the system would offer a range of benefits, including potential cost savings and the elimination of some of the variation in primary care.
She added: “We feel there are benefits for both primary and secondary care. For example, in primary care we are swamped with guidelines and pro-formas which are usually in paper form.
"We have no cohesive way of dealing with that information and so often end up using forms that might be two years out-of-date.”
Dr Nally said PathFinderRF would enable the latest forms to be uploaded onto the system centrally, so they would be instantly available for GPs in the consulting room.
This would help them to meet the latest requirements of hospital clinics and work patients up according to consultant requirements.
Dr Nally said PathFinderRF should also make shared care agreements work better, by making sure that everybody was working to the same specifications and that the demarcations between primary and secondary care work were clear.
She said the LCGs also planned to use the system to upload alternative primary care pathways where they had been set up.
She added: “The system will tell you what all the patient pathways are at the point of referral which is something you might forget about at the moment.
"Overall dissemination of information to people who really need to hear it is a really difficult issue in primary care and this is where PathFinder can help us.”
Barry Giddings, chairman of Avia Health Informatics, which owns Plain Healthcare, said: “We look forward to working with [these organisations] to take full advantage of PathFinderRF in supporting cost savings through effective referrals.
"We also look forward to continuing to grow the expanding list of commissioning groups using PathFinderRF.”
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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