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University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust is trailblazer for patient data

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Innovative IT solution enables seamless and timely access to patient demographics data

University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (UHNS) announced today that it has adopted a state-of-the-art IT solution that will enable it to access and verify patient demographic information faster and more accurately than ever before. UHNS is the first acute trust to implement the orQestra® Spine Mini Service, developed by Quicksilva. The solution will enable all the healthcare professionals working in the hospital to have access to the same information enabling the Trust to speed up and streamline patient care.

The first solution of its kind, Quicksilva’s orQestra® service will enable the Trust to easily and securely integrate it’s legacy Patient Administration System (PAS) with the central NHS Connecting for Health’s Personal Demographics Service (PDS). Hosted on the NHS Spine, the PDS is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details which enables a patient to be quickly identified by a healthcare professional. It’s an essential element of the NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS), which will underpin the creation of an electronic care record for every registered NHS patient in England. The Trust previously relied upon the monthly DBS Batch Tracing process which limited the efficiency with which patient data could be updated.

Quicksilva’s brand new approach to PDS connectivity has helped UHNS to become fully collaborative in the way in which it shares patient data. orQestra® is based on the recently published NHS Interoperability Toolkit Spine Mini Services and resolves the complexity of accessing PDS data by presenting a simplified interface which can be accessed by existing non Spine-compliant systems.

Rebecca Gallimore, deputy head of ICT at UHNS explained; "Like many acute trusts in the UK, we’re not directly connected to the PDS database that holds patient records. The orQestra® Spine Mini Service has the potential to deliver real benefits for UHNS, and for the GPs we work with. In stage one of the roll-out we have begun removing the process of updating data in the Trust’s PAS via the DBS with a daily upload from Spine Mini Service from Quicksilva. This has significantly reduced the workload required to manually update patient records. Our aim is to have a fully integrated real-time solution which will electronically update the Trust’s PAS from the Spine Mini Service ensuring that data will be consistent across the Local Health Economy."
Gayna Hart, Managing Director of Quicksilva said; "Incorrect demographic information is a serious problem for frontline NHS staff as identification errors can have serious implications on the treatment of patients. It is absolutely essential for organisations like UHNS, that records held across all levels of healthcare workers are authoritative and regularly updated, especially as patients are transferred between hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and clinics. There can be a tendency to overcomplicate NHS IT programme deliverables and the orQestra® solution aims to offer a simple and effective alternative to other ‘rip and replace’ strategies. orQestra® was developed to work within existing systems, minimising the impact to the Trusts of installing new systems. Rather than offering a ‘one-size-fits-all solution’, orQestra® encourages choice as it can work with any existing, planned or future IT system."
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