The local programme team describe My Care Record (MCR) as a shared care record “model” rather than an IT solution. Their implementation approach reflects this, and they have invested heavily in branding, engagement, and governance.
MCR was designed by West Essex CCG, and is being adopted across the Hertfordshire & West Essex STP footprint. It currently allows hospital clinicians to access information from the GP record, and vice versa. Mental health, community, ambulance and social care will be added in time. The solution uses Graphnet and the MIG.
“We knew we wanted to tackle this as an engagement exercise first and foremost. We didn’t want the public to think it was just another IT programme, so we deliberately don’t mention the technology in any detail. People don’t need to know about all that. They just need to know what it means for them. Hence we came up with the idea that the key messages should take the format, My X was X thanks to my care record. It makes it very personal. And it needs to be personal because the vision, ultimately, is that people take ownership of their own record – and their care.
To get the message right, we sought the views of patients, staff, and the public through focus groups. These were invaluable and resulted in us having a complete change of heart from the original messaging to what we ended up with. We also got the independent view of the local patient reading panel.
You’ll notice that My Care Record has been designed as a model which can easily be adopted by other areas. It could literally be lifted and used elsewhere with minimal rework. We are in the process of trademarking the brand. We want it to be reused.”
Kay Odysseos, Head of Communications and Engagement
- My Care Record was developed out of the My health, My future, My say campaign during which the public stated a desire for better coordinated services.
- The Hertfordshire and West Essex Local Digital Roadmap featured the MCR as a key enabler of its top priorities, including interoperability, collaborative working, and joint business intelligence. • The portal solution is delivered by Graphnet, using the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG).
- The data available in MCR at present is supplied by over 60 GP practices, as well as Princess Alexandra Hospital and Whipps Cross (Barts Health NHS Trust). The hospital dataset is soon to be expanded, giving GPs access to discharge, medication, radiology and pathology information.
- Access to MCR is designed to be as seamless as possible. Clinicians at PAH and Whipps Cross launch MCR by clicking on an icon in the patient record in their EPR, taking them into the same patient’s record in MCR. GPs access MCR via a similar icon in their own system.
- Federated Record Locator Model MCR is delivered through a portal solution based on Graphnet technology.
- It uses the MIG to provide a view of data from GP systems.
- The solution is hosted in a data centre at PAH.
- Information is shared in real-time and all access is audited.
- Clinicians can launch MCR through their own clinical system, in patient context.
- Access to the shared record is read-only.
- Clinicians at PAH believe My Care Record is a great asset. In A&E, having a view of the information in the GP record allows staff to make informed decisions about patients’ treatment and their subsequent course of care.
- Other clinicians see it as reducing the time taken to diagnose patients , improving the patient experience and saving resources by avoiding unnecessary tests.
- MCR also alleviates the administrative burden for GP practice staff, reducing the amount of individual calls, emails and requests for information from hospital colleagues, which in turn means they can focus on higher value, care-related tasks.
- Comments can be added to a patient’s record in MCR, which can be seen the next time it is viewed. This has started to better connect clinicians across the care journey.
- As more services come on board, the amount and quality of information available in MCR will increase, making it an ever more useful tool to support care planning and coordination. MCR will eventually facilitate the sharing of care plans between organisations.
- While the initial focus of MCR was on West Essex, the bringing together of Hertfordshire and West Essex under the STP footprint has provided the opportunity to extend the reach of the shared record, in the hope of achieving better region-wide coordination of services, bearing in mind that patients frequently receive care across boundaries. As well as including all Hertfordshire and West Essex STP partners in MCR, the scope also covers Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Broomfield Hospital. Discussions are underway with these organisations to ensure the patients they treat – who often subsequently access care in Hertfordshire or elsewhere in the STP geography – have a seamless care experience.
- Social care datasets are still being defined, so it will be a while before social care data is made available in MCR, but the programme team are currently engaging with social workers to understand how they could benefit from at least viewing MCR in the short term, to help them coordinate care with other providers.