CareWorks sponsors CCIO of the Year Award at Digital Health Awards 2018

CareWorks will be sponsoring the prestigious CCIO of the Year Award at Digital Health Summer School Intelligence Awards in Birmingham on 19th July.

The Digital Health Intelligence Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of those leading the way in making a difference within healthcare IT in the UK. The awards are the only health IT awards in which the winners are voted for by their peers. As innovators within UK healthcare IT, CareWorks are delighted and honoured to be sponsoring the CCIO of the Year award. The finalists for the CCIO of the Year Award 2018 are:

  • Rhidian Hurle – Medical Director for NHS Wales Informatics and CCIO for Wales
  • Dermot O’Riordan – CCIO & Consultant General Surgeon at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Mark Westwood – CCIO at North Tyneside CCG & Primary Care Lead for Great North Care Record

This is a very exciting time for CareWorks. In addition to sponsoring the CCIO of the Year Award, CareWorks has recently been selected by Leeds and York Partnership Trust to provide our new Mental Health CareDirector solution. CareDirector is a fully integrated solution currently live in over 100 health and social care organisations in four countries. Our new Mental Health solution enables mental health professionals to deliver quality care efficiently and has been designed with a renewed focus on user experience, operational reporting and mobile capability.

For more information on the CareDirector Mental Health solution contact us at [email protected]

The digital revolution is coming and the NHS needs to be ready

Stephen Barclay, Minister of State for Health and Social Care, believes that it is important the NHS is “future-fit” to embrace the digital revolution.

Aided by the rapid advance of new technologies, the science of human health is starting to be digitised. Sophisticated smartphone apps are being used to continuously monitor a patient’s vital signs, opening up new ways of managing long term conditions such as diabetes. Artificial intelligence is revolutionising diagnostics, with machine learning technologies set to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosis. Developments in medical imaging technologies are helping to bring the diagnostic arsenal of a hospital out into the community, while robotics and augmented reality technology is similarly delivering profound changes in surgical practice. Perhaps most significantly of all, the development of genomic science, supported by our world-leading 100,000 Genomes Project, is poised to transform our understanding and treatment of rare or hereditary diseases.

Digital transformation

There’s not a single professional group or specialism within the NHS that will be untouched by the way digital technologies shape their work over the next decade or two.

From understanding the algorithms and analytical tools necessary to process big data sets, to the management challenges of information governance and data protection, as well as the highly specialised training to use new forms of equipment, these will mean equipping teams with a new set of skills and knowledge, as well as potentially creating new professional roles.

It will also, in some cases, shift the way the NHS provides care – most obviously in the increasing use of online consultations and remote monitoring of long term conditions – meaning that clinicians will need to have confidence to maintain patient relationships through different media and support patients’ abilities to self-manage care.

Some technologies may also open up potentially difficult ethical questions that the skilled professional will need to manage in discussion with their patients.

New skills needed

All of this points to a capability challenge. NHS staff need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to unleash the full, transformative potential of these new technologies, many of which simply were not in existence when many parts of the current workforce were in training.

That is why the renowned American academic and technologist Dr Eric Topol has been asked to deliver a landmark review into the workforce implications of new technology. Dr Topol’s study will cover the full span of technological change, drawing in support from established experts to forecast the potential skills that will be needed and how best to build capability across the NHS workforce. His findings will inform the workforce strategy that Health Education England are developing.

While much of the current debate about workforce focuses on the recruitment and retention issues facing the NHS, which is being tackled by increasing medical training places, it is just as important is producing doctors and nurses with the right skills set to practice modern medicine.

Read the full article here.

Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust adopt new CareDirector Mental Health Solution

After an extensive tendering exercise, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, (LYPFT), have selected CareWorks’ mental health solution CareDirector to replace their current electronic patient record system.

LYPFT will be the first NHS mental health provider in England to adopt CareDirector software for its electronic patient records, embarking upon a 10 year, multi million pound partnership. LYPFT provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Leeds and across Yorkshire and the Humber.

CareWorks have been providing Health and Social Care software solutions internationally for over 20 years and their solution CareDirector is currently live in more than 100 Health and Social Care organisations in the UK, Wales, Ireland and the US. CareWorks’ new Mental Health solution is fully integratable and enables mental health professionals to deliver better quality care faster. The new solution has been designed with a renewed focus on user experience, mobile capability, efficient workflows and operational reporting.

Dr Claire Kenwood, LYPFT’s Medical Director, said: “We are really pleased to be able to make this announcement. It represents the end of a long and detailed search to find the right electronic patient record system to meet our ambitions for the future,

“Colleagues have invested lots of time and energy in looking for the right product. We needed a system which would link into the Leeds Care Record and other systems like electronic prescribing; could offer fully mobile working and offer workflow prompts to help make sure important steps in care processes are met,” she added.

CareDirector was championed as LYPFT’s new EPR system due to the solution’s familiarity, mobile capability, workflows and processes, data visualisation capabilities and integrability.

Speaking for CareWorks, CEO Michael Dolan said: “The team in CareWorks is looking forward to working with LYPFT to help them achieve the ambitious goals they’ve set for the future. Our CareDirector solution’s flexibility and usability for clinicians will be important in helping them to work more effectively together, enable the efficient delivery of services and make a real difference to patients’ lives.”

The solution is intended to be introduced in almost 2 years’ time in a large operation in which the Trust’s data will be cleaned and transported from the existing system, Paris, to CareDirector in a Trust-wide go live. CareWorks will be providing full training to all members of staff at LYPFT to ensure that everyone is ready for the changeover and feels comfortable and confident using the new system.

Dr Nick Venters, the Clinical lead for the project added: “We’re already looking at our working practices in detail and beginning to scope what we do, how we do it and how we can better align different services. This will help us harness the flexibility of CareDirector to create more effective work and information flows. In turn, this will help us to drive up the quality of the services and care we can deliver.”


Further Information from: Michael Dolan, CEO CareWorks

For more information please contact:

The Marketing Communications Team CareWorks

T: 0-2890 327329

E: [email protected]

Follow us on Twitter @CareWorksEurope

Mental health services: How to fill data gaps to improve outcomes and drive efficiencies

The cost of mental illnesses to the economy is estimated at £105 billion a year. When you consider that patients with mental illness are almost twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease, four times more likely to die from respiratory disease and are at a higher risk of being overweight or obese, that estimate is likely to be conservative. Efficiencies need to be found if mental health services are to be improved and made available to those in need.

Efficiencies such as an intuitive case management system could be the best place to start.

Reducing clinical risk with data

Risk management is a key component of effective mental health treatment. A huge part of a clinician’s job is risk assessment of a patient and being able to clearly justify why a certain treatment plan was chosen. In order to do this, a clinician must be able to review a patient’s entire background and history.

This is often a complicated task as data may be required from multiple sources and interactions over extensive periods of time. Without access to the full patient history, this can lead to management decisions being taken with a limited understanding of the associated risks, and result in poorer outcomes.

A key component of this is data management and visualisation. CareDirector Mental Health solution has a renewed focus on data visualisation. All of a patient’s data can be viewed easily in one place, the system is updated in real time and can integrate with other third party systems, meaning clinicians can view a patient’s entire history in one place and make an informed decision faster about a treatment plan.

Efficiency benefits in the real world

The demanding nature of mental health clinics often results in little time available to review a patient’s history prior to an appointment, meaning a lot of the appointment time can be spent reviewing a patient’s history, collecting data from disparate systems. Although the relevant patient data may be on a system, it might not be accessible. It might be spread out across siloed systems, be out of chronological order, inappropriately titled, or be buried amongst multiple sets of unstructured data, where it is poorly sorted.

This leaves little time to collect and corroborate new assessment findings. These gaps in finding data also often mean that multiple parties will have to be contacted, not only potentially increasing and duplicating data storage, but also leading to further delays in treatment.

CareDirector Mental Health solution eliminates this issue. All of a patient’s data will be in one easily accessible place. Data is stored and organised to be readily available to clinicians. A clinician can search for certain information points, or scroll through the patient’s entire history with ease in a social media style user interface, reducing time spent searching for data and eliminating the issue of data duplication, and ultimately reducing the delay in patient treatment.

CareWorks know that clinical risk needs to be reduced and quality of patient care needs to be improved. CareDirector can help achieve this by streamlining access to a full patient history, leading to time and cost efficiencies. Our solution is highly customisable meaning that a trust can ensure that CareDirector aligns with their workflows and needs, ensuring that clinicians have the right tools to make quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment at the point of care.

Read the full article here.

Robots and artificial intelligence could save NHS £12.5bn a year

The NHS could shave off a tenth of its budget by assigning nearly a third to robots and artificial intelligence systems, a new report by surgeon and former health minister Lord Darzi, has claimed. The report suggests the NHS could achieve cost savings of £12.5bn a year, by fully automating repetitive and administrative tasks, such as communicating medical notes, booking appointments and processing prescriptions.

It suggests that “home help care robots” designed to help people move around the home, help with household maintenance and even wash, dress and feed themselves, could reduce the human workload by 30%.

The report claims that artificial intelligence and automation will serve to complement human workers and free up more time for direct patient care, rather than resulting in mass unemployment. It also points out that technology will also help to fill a void left by a shortage of frontline staff in health and social care.

The report claims that robots and artificial intelligence systems could take on approximately:

  • 31% of the workload currently faced by GPs,
  • 23% of that of hospital doctors,
  • 29% of that of nurses.

Meanwhile, tapping the full potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems in diagnostics could enhance the speed and accuracy of diagnoses, particularly for conditions such as pneumonia, eye diseases, heart conditions and different types of cancer, the report claims. Biosensors will also allow the remote monitoring and alerting responses to clinical observations, such as sepsis.

While the report makes no reference to the potential cost or timeline for achieving such a high level of sophistication, it acknowledges many barriers facing to this innovation including “a lack of investment in the technological infrastructure; a need to redesign care pathways around automated solutions; and to retrain impacted staff to perform new roles.”

However, the report stresses that “the opportunity is too great to ignore”, and new funding for health and social care should include a sizable budget for this innovation pathway.

The report concludes: “Automation has the potential to transform the social care sector by connecting support at home, in residential care, and in hospitals, thereby smoothing the transitions between these settings.

“The future is full of possibilities where robots empower people in old age, enabling better, longer, and more fulfilling lives. Wider application of social digital technology at all ages will enable more people to remain supported and connected to friends and family.”

Read the full article here.

NHS Digital programme director: Innovation needs more work

Speaking at the NHS Confederation 2018 Conference in Manchester, Cleveland Henry, the programme director of innovations, digital futures and digital collaboration service at NHS Digital, talked about the digital successes and challenges that NHS Digital has encountered.

The session looked into how the advancement of technology in the health and care system has helped transform patient care. While successes were listed as e-referrals, NHSmail and the Spine, Henry concedes that technology is being introduced to patients and clinicians across the NHS, however, he admitted more work was needed to actually get people to use it.

“We have 95% of GPs offering online services but only 20% of people are using it…Yes we are doing innovation but there’s work we need to do. We can’t just chuck an iPad at it.”

Henry added that it is important to deliver solutions “that are easier to use than not to”, adding clinicians must be “comfortable” employing the technology on a daily basis.

“We need to make sure that we do our job so that front-line staff can do theirs…The more digital we make services, the easier it becomes for the staff to treat patients.”

Henry stated that the overall aim is to make the NHS “future fit” and innovation should not be stifled by previous IT projects.

Read the full article here.

Is the NHS reinforcing mental health stigma through excessive data secrecy?

Dr James Reed, chief clinical information officer at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, posed a thought provoking question recently; is the NHS reinforcing mental health stigma through excessive data secrecy?

Often clinicians talk about mental health data in hushed tones, as if there is something secret and extra sensitive about it when compared to other health information. This can result in clinicians not being as informed as they should be when treating people with mental illnesses.

Dr Reed argues that, “Treating mental health data as if it needs to be locked away in isolation is a complete contradiction to delivering equality for mental health.” Information about one’s schizophrenia or depression should in no way be seen as different, or any more sensitive or difficult as information about cancer or diabetes.

Patient privacy is central to effective care, and any sensitive patient information must only be accessed when appropriate. But when mental health is singled out with excessive secrecy, or even hidden away entirely, much worse outcomes for the patient can ensue, particularly when their problems are not understood.

Patient treatment cannot be effective if professionals don’t have access to information they need, and that inevitably leads to poorer standards of care. Parity of esteem, or valuing mental and physical health equally, and reducing mental health stigma, is now a national priority. CareDirector Mental Health solution can help to eliminate this data related issue. All of a patient’s data is stored and organised to be readily available to clinicians in one place. A clinician can search for certain information points, or scroll through the patient’s entire history with ease in a social media style user interface, offering a clear and complete picture of a patient’s history and ultimately reducing the delay in patient treatment.

But to really reduce mental health stigma, Dr Reed argues that we need a societal shift to ensure availability of information needed to treat patients with mental illness becomes acceptable. We are not there yet, but the conversation continues to evolve, especially with high-profile individuals like Princes William and Harry talking openly about mental health and mental illness.

As with any sensitive data, it is important to ensure that it is accessed appropriately, with safeguards in place. However, Dr Reed passionately proclaims that we must stop seeing mental health as a special case – there should be no shame attached.

Read the full article here.

Newport County Council live with WCCIS

We are delighted to announce that Newport County Council has gone live with The WCCIS. This is the eleventh local authority that has gone live since the launch of The WCCIS in 2015.

The Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) gives community nurses, mental health teams, social workers and therapists the digital tools they need to work better together, whilst providing the highest possible levels of care. The WCCIS will provide integrated health and social care for the whole of Wales. It is being delivered by CareWorks through our CareDirector solution and is already live in:

It allows access to relevant information on the care provided to a range of health and social care professionals, to show where a patient is with their treatment.

When fully implemented across Wales, WCCIS will help break down barriers caused by different organisations using different IT systems, by securely storing important information covering a range of activities such as community nursing, health and social care visits, mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, complex care needs and social care therapy.

To find out more about The WCCIS, please call us on (0)2890 327 329 or email [email protected]

Could GDPR aid interoperability in healthcare?

Interoperability remains a major challenge for healthcare IT. In March the General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR), comes into force to update data protection laws, encouraging greater transparency and putting more control in the hands of citizens. With its commitment to data portability, could GDPR also serve as an opportunity to finally fix the problem that is interoperability in healthcare? Will it be the push that is needed to make interoperability an imperative?

Data portability, in a healthcare context, could mean that patients have a right to take their data with them between different organisations – meaning that these health bodies will have to make sure that they can;

a) find the information, and

b) make it available in a transparent format.

This could prompt organisations to think generally about how they provide and receive data, potentially assisting interoperability, as well as how they would deal with more specific provisions, such as the “right to be forgotten”.

But whether it will be transformative on the interoperability front remains to be seen. Some argue that GDPR on its own will not be enough to fix the problem and feel it will have to be associated with some sort of standard from the NHS.

Over the years there have been several attempts to set standards to ensure that information can be passed between different systems. For example, this summer NHS Digital said it was moving to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, (FIHR), standards to improve communications between hospitals and GP practices. While suppliers have worked hard to ensure they comply with standards, they must walk the line of meeting client demands and satisfying standards. This challenge is exacerbated by the heavy usage of old, outdated systems that need replacing.

Despite these challenges GDPR could improve interoperability because it will clarify and improve data protection regulations. It has the potential to build the public’s trust in what NHS organisations are doing with their data, making them more likely to share their data. It could also give NHS records a well needed clean up and reorganisation, prompting organisations to think about the way they store data, who can see it and why they are keeping it.

At the very least, having this information defined, documented and accounted for – in the one place – will save an administrative headache if a patient exercises their GDPR right to ask for the information to be removed.


Read the full article here.

Artificial Intelligence taking China by storm

Artificial intelligence (AI) seems poised to transform healthcare all over the world, especially in China. Developing the systems that power artificial intelligence requires correlating thousands of variables spanning patient medical data and then developing software that can identify related trends among these variables and predict medical outcomes. In China, this poses a challenge: there’s a shortage of easily accessible healthcare data, because online and electronic health record systems are scarce.

Some Chinese entrepreneurs seen opportunity within the market. Jun Wang, founder of the biotech company iCarbonX, is developing an AI-influenced consumer app that will provide customised health and medical advice based on a customer’s DNA, health habits and environment. Wang has established an alliance with healthcare data companies from around the world to provide expertise in mining medical and biological data. By integrating their different platforms, iCarbonX envisions being able to aggregate and analyse patient healthcare information quickly and cheaply.

The voice-tech company iFlytek, will be further developing their technology to comprehend and think about speech in addition to its current capabilities of listening and speaking — features that could be incorporated into mHealth applications or used by healthcare providers who cannot directly communicate with their patients.

Another technology platform, Ningbo Cloud Hospital, is using cloud computing to create a virtual hospital for the Chinese port city of Ningbo. Its services include collecting and analysing data for hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies, and providing health education and diagnostic services for remote clients.

Ultimately, though, these companies will be competing for global AI market share with large established companies such as Google and Apple. Legal experts note that regulatory bodies will need to evaluate AI technologies to ensure the systems are secure and accurate, and work out the liability issues that may arise when AI systems cause problems or make mistakes.

Read more about China’s use of artificial intelligence here.