Hospital's online health record scoops second national award

Using Technology to Improve Efficiency - HSJ award 

Staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have received another top national health award for the development of a revolutionary personal online patient health record.

My medical record, a website that allows patients at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to access parts of their health record from home, was named Using Technology to Improve Efficiency winner at the Health Service Journal awards in London.

It comes two months after the team collected the award for best use of IT to support treatment and care within the NHS at the EHI Awards.

Created by the informatics team in collaboration with doctors and nurses and supplier Get Real Health, the site is an online tool which enables people to store a range of health information for personal use and to share between care providers.

The innovation, which is currently being used by more than 3,000 patients in specialties including cancer, gastroenterology and children’s services, gives staff the opportunity to make information which is held in clinical and administration systems, such as upcoming appointments, test results and consultant advice, available to patients electronically in an instant.

Additionally, patients can keep daily diaries on their health, upload data from medical devices used at home and communicate with their clinicians, including consultants and specialist nurses, without attending hospital.

Following its success, My medical record was adapted in partnership with the TrueNTH programme, a global initiative led by the Movember Foundation to improve critical areas of prostate cancer care.

In the UK, TrueNTH is being managed by Prostate Cancer UK, which is now funding self-management for patients using the Southampton system at four other hospital trusts across the country and its implementation is being evaluated by the University of Southampton.

Within the prostate cancer service at UHS, where the solution is used for surveillance, test results, patient information, signposting and interactive web access to the clinical team, a specialist cancer nurse can remotely review 20 patients per hour – who do not then need to attend a clinic appointment – compared to six in a traditional outpatient setting.

“Our aim is to provide a virtual hospital service which enables patients to have greater access to information and much more control over their healthcare and this innovation is a fantastic example of that vision evolving successfully,” said Adrian Byrne, director of informatics at UHS.

“By improving accessibility to medical information, increasing the flexibility of communication with clinicians and allowing patients more independence, we are seeing reductions in the need for hospital appointments, admissions and readmissions while actually increasing access to specialists.”

The information collected via My medical record, including charts, graphs and tables to provide an overview of trends, can be made available to various clinicians or other carers if the patient allows access.

Kevin Hamer, programme manager for My medical record, added: “We are extremely pleased with the impact this project has had for patients and clinicians so far – it really is transforming the use of IT in the NHS.

“We are now looking to expand its use in more specialties, as well as discussing the possibility of providing services to other trusts in England, and we are very excited about the potential our system has to improve healthcare nationally.”

Alison Richardson, professor of cancer nursing and end of life care at the University of Southampton and chief investigator for the TrueNTH supported self-management project, said: “Men with prostate cancer deserve consistent, effective, person-centred follow-up care.

“By providing men with the information and resources to manage many aspects of their own follow-up, My medical record significantly reduces the number of face-to-face clinic appointments they need to attend and ensures they are able to access support from the hospital at any point from the comfort of their homes."

The EHI and HSJ awards follow the trust’s recent selection as one of the Department of Health’s 12 digital centres of excellence, which will see the organisation receive £10 million over four years for further IT development.

Posted on Tuesday 6 December 2016