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As a clinical commissioner, you will be most interested in value for money – ensuring that the medical services for which you are responsible are operating at peak efficiency, with the best possible outcome for patients.

One of the key objectives is to reduce the number of no-show appointments, where a patient makes an appointment, does not cancel it but does not attend. Aggregated across the UK, this costs a tremendous amount of money in wasted clinician time and increases waiting time for other patients.

However, there is an equivalent inefficiency caused by the need for repeat patient presentations and repeated tests and investigations due to the incomplete information available to clinician.

If a clinician is seeing a patient who has had treatment outside of the local area, or via a private medical administration, then it is extremely unlikely that the local clinician can see the records relating to this part of the treatment. For any form of information to be added to the local system, the remote clinician will have to compose a letter to be emailed to the patient’s GP surgery for inclusion.

The time taken to write the letter, the time taken for it to arrive and be added to the system, the time taken in repeat meetings with the patient and the cost of potential repeat investigations severely reduce the financial and operational efficiency of the service.

In many cases the patient’s symptoms may have dissipated before the second investigation can take place.

Three people sitting
  • This all costs the patient time and aggravation.
  • There is a substantial cost for the inefficiency.
  • It may be inconclusive as many of the signs may have dissipated.

How could things change?

x-tention offers cloud-based, pay as you use software that exchanges data between any medical system, as long as is granted access to it.

A find more information button added to the screen of your existing patient record system will initiate a search of connected systems for that patient’s identifier and retrieve the appropriate record, allowing an informed diagnosis to be made:

Man on computer
  • The patient is happy, and his time has not been wasted.
  • Clinical time is saved, and efficiency is improved.
  • There is a significant cost saving as unnecessary investigations are omitted.
  • Records are available in real-time so letter generation is not longer needed.
  • Other patients will be seen more quickly.

We call this information liquidity

How quickly can this be achieved?

Technically, it can be achieved very quickly. However, we must consider information governance as this is the vital governing process that ensures patient confidentiality and prevents unauthorised individuals or organisations accessing the patient record:

From a technical perspective, this means:

  • The information is held within the UK.
  • It is accessible only via the HSCN.
  • Data Processors are ISO27001:2013 accredited, are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and have made a submission to the NHS’ DSP Toolkit.

From a contractual perspective:

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  • Information sharing agreements must be in place with other Trusts (we can help there too)
  • The patient’s wishes must be observed.
  • Need/right to the information must be established.

This is a Department of Health and Social Care objective so the political will is present, we are keen to work with you to make it a reality.

The earlier we start, the quicker we will have an interconnected healthcare system.

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