The next stage will be to ask patients and the public for their input.
The KMCR project team are also looking at other similar systems operating around the country; going on site visits where possible to learn how others chose and implemented their systems. The project team has also held a market engagement event, to begin speaking with potential providers of these systems to see what is technically feasible.
The illustration above highlights the complexity of the challenge faced by the team. Given the sheer number of different systems in operation across Kent and Medway, the new shared care record system will not try and replace all these existing systems. A simpler and better solution is to develop a new umbrella database that draws relevant information from existing systems; and then makes it available to those that need to use it – doctors, nurses, care workers, paramedics etc. And, importantly, to individual patients and the public so they can see their own data.
Protecting the safety of people’s personal and medical information is also a significant consideration for the team. Health and social care professionals using the system will only have access to the parts of the database they need to do their job. However, the database will also hold details of other professionals involved in that person’s care. For example, a care worker visiting someone at home might be able to see that they have recently been discharged from A&E without having full access to that person’s entire medical history. But they would be able to see who to contact to find out more if needed.
Making sure patients and the public really understand how, when and why their personal data is being used will be critical to the success of the new system. Members of the digital workstream and KMCR project team have been working closely with a representative from the STP’s Patient and Public Engagement Group (PPAG) in these early stages.
We will be seeking PPAG’s further input as we move to inform and engage patients and the public more widely across Kent and Medway as this work progresses.