Case Studies

Alder Hey continue NHS digital revolution with successful MESH connectivity

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust chose Medisec Software to help it achieve e-delivery of clinical documents via MESH, ahead of schedule and within budget.


Challenges:

  • Unable to send correspondence electronically to GPs out of the local CCG
  • Pressure to meet e-delivery standards and achieve a fully paperless medical record
  • A short time frame with multiple third parties needing to be engaged

Solution:

  • Achieving MESH connectivity with MedisecNET

Outcome:

  • Ability to electronically transmit to any MESH compliant healthcare providers
  • Ability to send 100% of discharge correspondence electronically to GPs
  • A more cohesive and connected care experience for patients and their families
  • A step closer to a fully digital and paperless medical record for every child

The full study

The first step to connected care

As a Global Digital Exemplar, the world is watching how Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust deliver radical improvements in patient care through digital advances. 

As well as some recent ground breaking projects – from harnessing artificial intelligence to developing a children’s app to guide patients through their stay – Alder Hey is also focusing on supporting a more connected approach between primary, secondary and social care.

Improving communication between the various care providers is key to this objective, as David Reilly, Deputy Head of Clinical Systems: IM&T, already knows.

“As a GDE, we want to set standards when it comes to leading electronic and digital innovations.  However, we also know that the best solutions to some of our biggest challenges can be the simplest. 

“Having patient information available electronically for multiple care providers deals with a wide range of ongoing issues in connected care.  Achieving complete e-delivery of documents is the first step and was a huge priority for Alder Hey.”

Moving to MESH

Alder Hey was already successfully sending patient letters to GPs electronically using MedisecNET via the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG).  However, this only corresponded to GPs within the local CCG.

David Reilly explains: 

“We treat patients from a wide geographical radius which means we need to share important information to healthcare providers all over the country, particularly transfer of care and discharges.  We were not able to do this via the current electronic set up and had to revert back to paper copies for these out of area GPs.

“The mandating of the new Messaging Exchange for Social Care and Health from NHS Digital was actually the perfect solution to our problems.  By achieving MESH connectivity, we would be able to send and receive letters point to point to any primary care provider across the country.”

Mapping requirements

The Trust engaged with Medisec Software, an already trusted provider of digital dictation software at Alder Hey, to deliver the project in under 6 months.

“We knew there was a big piece of work to do.” said David Reilly.  “Medisec took the pain away from the project, liaising with third parties including iMerseyside and countless GPs, managing rigorous testing and finding the best way to achieve our objective.”

Medisec’s MedisecNET has been used for several years in Alder Hey to deliver letters electronically to GP practices. MedisecNET already supported a variety of delivery mechanisms to ensure that letters could be received by any practice – no matter what system they had in place.  Adding a MESH delivery option was a natural addition by Medisec to support NHS Digital delivery requirements.

The new process

A new Medisec MESH client account manages the delivery of all patient correspondence.

The delivery service automatically extracts all new letters that have been signed off by the clinician for delivery to the GP.  These are then converted into MESH format files that are compliant with the NHS Digital MESH client.

David Reilly said:

“The MESH client then delivers the files to the GP MESH mailbox account. Because the letters are tailored to be compatible with specific GP system capabilities, the letters are automatically imported, matched to the patient record and then viewable in the GP computer system, which is obviously a hugely positive user experience.”

Debi Lees, Operational Manager at Medisec Software said: 

We have been working with NHS organisations for 25 years to digitise clinical correspondence and dictation, so are used to dealing with multiple stakeholders, systems and processes across healthcare. 

“The beauty of the project with Alder Hey is that the entire approach can be picked up and applied in other healthcare economies across the country who are not sure where to start with MESH connectivity.” 

The impact

At this very early stage after ‘Go Live’ of MESH connectivity, the benefits are already apparent. 

The ability to electronically transmit to any MESH compliant healthcare provider supports more effective communication without technology barriers.  Where previously, only 50% of all discharge correspondence was able to be sent electronically to GPs, through MESH Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust can now achieve 100%.

Status reports for documentation can also be generated to give the Trust full oversight of delivery status of letters and ensuring relevant KPIs and target times are met.

From a patient experience perspective, a more cohesive and joined up approach can be taken to a child’s pathway of care, with information in the hands of the right professionals at the right time – mostly instantly.

And as other care areas in the North East develop MESH connectors, even more clinical documentation can be sent electronically to social care and community care and back again, aligning with the Five Year Forward View’s Paperless 2020 vision. 

David Reilly adds:

We are moving into Phase Two of the project now, which involves turning off the paper letters to another 12 GPs in the area.  This will continue to roll out across all GPs in our network until we are fully paperless, wherever possible, with all.”

And next on the list for Alder Hey’s connected care programme of work?  FHIR.

“We now need to look at ensuring the correspondence we are sending complies with FHIR requirements.  As a GDE, it is important we set standards and develop a digital blueprint that can be deployed to other hospitals.  Digital delivery is one of those areas.”

Ceri Rothwell, Managing Director at Medisec Software said:

“We are really delighted with the MESH connectivity project and our ongoing relationship with the clinical and IT teams at the Trust.  Alder Hey has great vision and we are pleased to partner with them on several projects as part of their Global Digital Excellence journey. 

“We consistently champion digital innovation within healthcare, and for us, this piece of work is a shining example of how effective technology can make fully connected, paperless care a reality.”

To find out more about MedisecNET and achieving MESH connectivity, visit www.medisecsoftware.co.uk or call 01829 730189.  Medisec Software is part of the Clanwilliam Group.

About Medisec Software:

Formed in 1992, Medisec Software is a specialist systems developer providing tried and tested clinical correspondence solutions for the health service.

About 15,000 primary and secondary healthcare professionals in England currently rely on the company’s products to generate more than five million documents every year.

Medisec Software No 14 Portal Business Park, Eaton Lane, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9DL

For all support enquiries email Medisec.Support@nhs.net