Clinicians and IT experts at Southampton's teaching hospitals have received a £75,000 funding boost to give more patients access to a pioneering online health system.
The Health Foundation grant will allow My medical record, a website that enables patients at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to access parts of their health record from home, to be trialled among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD is the term used for a group of long-term conditions of the colon and small intestine, mainly Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which cause inflammation of the gut.
Created by the informatics team in collaboration with doctors and nurses and supplier Get Real Health, the system has already been used successfully in Southampton among patients with prostate cancer.
The innovation 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.
Patients can also 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.
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, healthcare organisations or other carers if the patient allows access.
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.
My medical record is one of 22 new projects nationwide to receive a share of the Health Foundation's £1.5 million innovation programme - Innovating for Improvement - which aims to improve healthcare delivery and the way people manage their own healthcare by testing and developing ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.
Sarah Henderson, associate director at the Health Foundation, said: "We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams who all have great innovative ideas.
"Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams' innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK."
Kevin Hamer, programme manager for My medical record, said: "This funding will enable us to begin rolling out this system in a non-cancer setting to enable patients with inflammatory bowel disease to benefit from supported self-management.
"We are delighted with the impact My medical record has had so far in empowering patients to take more control over their healthcare and we look forward to giving more patients the opportunity to access this cutting-edge tool."
Dr Nicola Taylor, IBD research fellow at UHS, added: "IBD is a long-term condition which is often diagnosed at quite a young age – late teens to early 20s – when patients want to carry on life as normal and My medical record provides a solution for care which fits around patients' lives as opposed to around hospital appointments.
"In addition, up to 25% of cases present in childhood years and we have seen a marked rise in the incidence of paediatric IBD noted in the UK over the past few decades, so we hope this project will help us to develop a service model fit for the expected future demand."
Posted on Thursday 2 February 2017