Improving healthcare access for dementia patients

July 31, 2018 Katy Brooks

Orion Health UK is excited to announce their continued collaboration with Health & Social Care NI (HSCNI), building upon ongoing work to deliver the Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) system. This new phase of work is a transformational Pathfinder Project that will deliver a Patient Portal with an initial focus on people living with dementia. 

For five years now, clinicians across Northern Ireland have been benefiting from the NIECR, having a patient’s clinical information at their fingertips. With single sign-on they are able to view a holistic record including medical history, lab results, medications, allergies and clinical correspondence from all health and social care providers across the region. 

The project will deliver a Patient Portal as part of the existing NIECR platform, initially focusing on the 20,000 people with dementia in Northern Ireland. The Pathfinder Project will deliver real benefits in the care provided to people living with dementia and their carers, whilst at the same time improving efficiencies and communication. Starting out as a ‘Proof of Concept’, the Patient Portal has the potential to be rolled out right across Northern Ireland.

An ambitious project, but a very important one due to the multitude of legacy systems across a wide variety of specialist health services that a person with dementia requires access to. The Patient Portal is the next significant step towards a fully integrated health system, enabling patients to take better ownership of their health, manage their conditions effectively and engage with healthcare professionals.

The Pathfinder Project will focus on dementia care in the first instance in order to better understand user requirements in such a complex and diverse area of healthcare. 

When the Patient Portal launches in August it will provide people living with dementia with four initial areas of functionality:

Appointments - will enable hospital appointments to be viewed online which can be shared with other carers within a patient’s Circle of Care. This functionality will be especially important for people living with dementia who may at times be confused or forget about hospital appointments.

Shared Files - the Shared Files screen will allow clinicians, patients and their nominated care representatives to share files, such as documents, images and videos with one another within the patient’s care record.

Health Library - will allow clinicians to publish standard medical documentation, photos and videos into the Patient Portal and grant access to the relevant library content that is tailored specifically to the patient’s condition and care requirements. This provides the patient and their circle of care with access to highly relevant information that is reliable and trusted.

Circle of Care - one of the most innovative aspects of the Patient Portal will be the potential to identify a patient’s Circle of Care. This will allow nominated representatives, such as family members or other carers to have secure access to relevant information about the patient’s condition and the management of that condition.

To read more about our work with Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, read the case study here.

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