Health Information Exchange update

The Health Information Exchange went live on 9 March 2020 sharing data from GP practices across the North East and North Cumbria.   Originally targeted at replacing the functionality of the North East MIG we’re pleased to say that, since going live, the HIE is now making more data available, in more places, than was previously possible.

Newcastle Hospitals data begins to flow

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) is the first acute Trust in the region to start sharing patient data via the HIE. From 4 May 2020, patient demographics, laboratory results and radiology reports are available to everyone who has access to the HIE.  The publication of this data has been expedited in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and the results from NuTH’s Covid-19 testing, since 30 March 2020,  have been uploaded to the HIE. As new results are added to the Trust’s clinical system, the HIE will automatically populate.

Graham King, Chief Information Officer for the Trust said: “We are really pleased to be in a position to start making patient data from our Trust available across the region. We are facing the same challenges as everyone else in dealing with Covid-19, but now more than ever, its vital we share patient data to improve the flow of information around the system.”

Over the next few weeks, the Trust will add more data categories to the HIE including clinical correspondence and appointments, closely followed by diagnoses, allergies and procedures.

Community services update

Selected community services at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and NuTH are now sharing data into the HIE. This data has been well received by GPs who can now view it from within their practice system via the HIE.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust have enabled their HIE viewers for community staff so that these groups can now view patient data via the HIE.

We continue to work with other community services to enable them to view and share data via the HIE.

NEAS adds HIE viewer to call handling staff

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has enabled HIE viewing for its 999 and 111 call handlers.

Master Patient Index 2 (MPIv2) upgrade

The MPI is a core component of the HIE and it provides a mechanism for ‘matching’ records from multiple sources and assigning them to a single patient, to ensure that a complete patient record can be displayed.  In our case, the MPI only matches records automatically when the combination of NHS Number and Date of Birth is identical.

We have recently upgraded the MPI to Version 2.  This upgrade brings a general improvement in performance and V2 is a pre-requisite for any HIE software upgrades that we wish to take in the future.  Unfortunately, the HIE had to be taken out of service for two hours while we performed the upgrade, but that has allowed us to hone our operational and communications processes for use in the future, should we need further downtime.

MIG contract

As a programme we will continue to enhance the HIE with more data from more organisations, and we will keep you updated as new data sources become available.  However, during the Covid-19 outbreak the MIG continues to be available, as a data sharing failsafe for GP records, to minimise any disruption.

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