Primary Care IT
"Opusflow can offer GP Federations and Practices as well as other community care providers an additional IT resource that offers a faster and more agile approach which coupled with an awareness of the new challenges set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, could free up capacity now and also help prepare for the future delivery of new models of care."
The NHS Five Year Forward View sets out a positive vision for the future of the NHS to deliver better health, better patient care and improve NHS efficiency. The document outlines 7 new models of care such as fully integrated out-of-hospital care in the form of Multi-specialty Community Providers (MCPs) and Primary and Acute Care Systems (PACS). A by-product of the NHS Five Year Forward is the General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, which sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilize and transform general practice.
To deliver these visions, every health and care system in England has to produce a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years. These new models of care and digital roadmaps will have big implications for how GP practices deliver care and manage their workflows in the future. For practices, this will mean management teams and staff alike will need to work differently and make the necessary changes in order to free up more capacity. Recommendations on how to do this, dubbed the 10 high impact action areas, are outlined in the document 'Releasing Capacity in General Practice' (which is based on the Making Time in General Practice report).
Furthermore, a supported, funded programme of work on this will launch in summer 2016 and practices will have the opportunity to take advantage of the total of £90m funding that will be available over the next five years, to contribute towards staff training in active signposting and letter management, as well as the costs of purchasing online consultation systems. More information can be found here.
IT and systems are obviously a key enabler; a way to share information across boundaries, reduce bureaucracy and improve patient safety and care. However practices need to make sure that they understand how best to make use of the various systems with which they interact as well as how to exploit the capability of their own IT systems to support reporting and to improve the end-to-end workflow within the practice (such as Docman and Emis Workflow Manager). Practices will also have to start working with commissioners and local care providers to explore how best to share information, tackle IG barriers and raise the ambitions for shared care records for their patients.
In the meantime there remains, of course, the need for practices to continue with the day-to-day business of delivering high quality patient care and we are acutely aware of the additional head space, resource and effort required to deliver operational and technological change.
Opusflow IT Consultancy
For the last 3 years Opusflow have been working with GP Federations, Practices and local Health Trusts providing IT Consultancy to support new initiatives and pilots such as the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund (now known as the GP Access Fund), Multi-speciality Community Providers schemes and other Vanguard projects.
IT services commissioned by the CCGs / CSU do not meet all the IT needs of the fast evolving health and social care environment where IT systems tend to act as barriers to integration rather than providing support. Opusflow are in a position to offer GP Federations and Practices and other community care providers an additional IT resource that is faster and more agile which, coupled with an awareness of the above requirements and challenges, could free up capacity now and also help prepare for the future vision outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View and General Practice Forward View.
Dedicating additional resources to IT support may seem a non-essential cost. However, it is worth considering the evidence that has demonstrated that without IT planning and support against a clear shared vision, new models of care will not be successfully implemented and we will be left with IT systems which do not integrate and improve efficiencies, equipment which is not used and staff who are confused and de-motivated.
IT Project Management
Collaborative IT services