Shared records will improve care in Birmingham and Solihull
People living in Birmingham and Solihull will soon get better, safer care and treatment, thanks to the introduction of joined-up health and care records.
The Birmingham and Solihull Health Information Exchange (HIE), due to launch in the next few months, will bring together a person’s separate records into a structured, easy-to-read format. This will give health and care professionals directly involved in an individual’s care a more complete view of the care and treatment they’ve had across all services.
It will mean, for instance, a doctor in a hospital, or a paramedic who attends a 999 call will be able to access the same crucial information as a GP, such as details of allergies and current medications – bringing potentially life-saving benefits.
“We know people want their health and care records to be available to all the professionals who care for them,” said Dr James Reed, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the HIE.
“They tell us they don’t want to have to repeat their story each time they receive care at a different organisation. Bringing together information held by different services means they’ll no longer have to do this, as their up-do-date details will be immediately available to any professional directly involved in their care.
“As a result, professionals will be able to make better-informed decisions that will improve outcomes for those receiving care across Birmingham and Solihull.”
Currently, local health and care services hold their own separate records about people. As their IT systems are not connected, they’re unable to share this information electronically with each other. This causes care and treatment delays, with organisations having to forward important facts by phone, email or on paper.
The HIE will make this information available at the touch of a button to those health and care professionals providing direct care for an individual.
Dr Reed said: “Co-ordinating knowledge in this way is a real step forward in the way we deliver care and treatment across Birmingham and Solihull. It underpins our drive to provide seamless care for everyone by integrating health and social care services.
“But, most importantly, this will make care safer, particularly in an emergency when having vital information to hand can make all the difference when it comes to making the right decisions for someone.”
A public engagement campaign about the HIE is currently under way. The campaign is an opportunity for people to share their views and get involved in the future development of the initiative. It will also offer information on how people can say no if they would rather their details were not viewed through the HIE.