Continuing our series of blogs on the findings from our evaluation of the training element of four projects aimed at enhancing frailty care across Wessex, this blog reflects upon some of the information systems challenges that staff described when identifying and delivering health services to people at risk of or living with frailty.
A key concern for staff was information integration and access to it.
Have you ever thought about the convenience element of setting up direct debits or payments from your online bank system? Imagine having to use individual companies’ websites with online forms that did not share common data (name, address, bank account details) so that you had to enter it for each transaction? And even though we are able to check payments on the online systems of suppliers (using separate accounts e.g. for electricity, gas, water, council tax), the convenience of logging into only one system, our bank account, to review all our transactions surely saves time and allows us to better manage our funds. The notion behind the functionality of online banking is the centralisation of information for the benefit of the end user. Even if it is not always perfect, the convenience and ease of use has been a significant factor in enhancing the use of online services.
Now, let’s think about health systems and the same idea of information centralisation. Staff from the NHS organisations that participated in our study all agreed that integrating systems across the community, social, primary and acute sectors that hold information on those diagnosed with or at risk of frailty, would benefit patients and enable staff to provide better care. Intuitively, in their view, access to better quality information in terms of completeness and being up to date would enhance their decision-making. However, information integration is not simple in the health sector. Continue reading Improving the I T in Frailty care – By Dr Alex Recio-Saucedo and Dr Melinda Taylor