Building ARCHIE – GNCR 2.0

Author: Kathryn Common, Communications Manager, Connected Health Cities North East and North Cumbria

A key element of the Connected Health Cities programme is the development of an ARC or Trusted Research Environment.

Each of the Connected Health Cities regions are exploring this through a number of care pathway projects. A great deal of work has already taken place in the North East and North Cumbria – most notably in the Durham University project for predictive modelling of unplanned care.

A Trusted Research Environment is a place for researchers to acquire, process, share and analyse health and care data with all relevant governance and safeguards. This data may come from hospitals, GP practices, community or social care organisations.

The North East and North Cumbria is taking one step further than other regions by taking this Trusted Research Environment and linking it to a Health Information Exchange – creating ARCHIE.

This piece of work is the key challenge for the team in the North East and North Cumbria through to September 2019.

A Health Information Exchange supports the two-way sharing of patient data between organisations. The team is looking to prove the concept works as a prototype using a number of specific use cases.

These use cases will provide a representative mix of organisations and pathway flows and will test not only the technical architecture, but also the social framework that the project operates within. How do we get the public and care practitioners to engage? Can we get the information governance right to enable data to flow between organisations? What challenges will we have to overcome? What will we learn from this experience that we can take on board as we roll out the programme across the whole region?

A huge challenge in this piece of work is creating a way of capturing the data sharing preferences of the public. This is unchartered waters and is being created iteratively with support from professionals and the public alike to ensure we get it right.

Ultimately what we will have a year from now is an infrastructure which transcends organisational boundaries and beings us a step closer to creating Personal Health Records.

In the North East and North Cumbria, we see a unique opportunity when it comes to data sharing. If we can improve how data flows to support direct patient care, put in the appropriate controls and allow the public to choose whether to share their data with researchers or healthcare commissioners we can be at the forefront of the digital healthcare revolution.

Comments for this story

  • Comment by neil @ 16th July 20183:36 pm

    Hi Kathryn
    You mention North Cumbria, can you advise who from North Cumbria is assisting so I can understand more from Cumbria end. I currently work a lot on sharing data across Cumbria and send communications electronically. I am a little concerned that our Inform Governance team have no awareness of this collaboration.

    Thanks Neil

    • Comment by kcommon @ 18th July 20183:25 pm

      Hi Neil

      I can find out for you and come back to you. I believe that we are using the Information Sharing Gateway as the means for processing data sharing agreements. Could you drop me a line on and I’ll come back to you on this?

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