Amity case study
Amity is a region wide digital front door empowering citizens in Cheshire and Merseyside to take control of their health and wellbeing by bringing together personal and clinical data from multiple sources.
The bespoke portal is being developed by Mindwave in partnership with Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership to provide seamless support across acute, physical, mental, community and social care, within robust interoperability standards.
The partnership is focused on providing safe, good quality and sustainable health services to the 2.6 million residents of the north west region, which has a disproportionately high number of high-risk groups. They are focused on three key strategic transformation objectives:
- Improving the health of the Cheshire and Merseyside population
- Improving the quality of care in hospital settings
- Reducing the cost of administration
Feeding into these objectives is the partnership’s DigitA@ll vision to:
- Empower individuals to care for themselves and take control of their own health and wellbeing
- Empower staff to have access to high quality information, equipped with the digital resources they need to deliver safe, high quality and efficient care
- Achieve a joined-up, efficient and informed patient journey, based on secure, real-time patient data
- Make Cheshire and Merseyside the area that innovators want to come to learn about digital excellence.
Cheshire and Merseyside understood that introducing PHRs would enable them to achieve both their strategic and digital objectives, so they chose to partner with Mindwave on a project aimed at moving beyond trust-centred platforms and scaling the PHR movement to a regional level.
The two-year project was launched in October 2019 with an initial discovery phase. Mindwave carried out extensive desktop and user research into the current experience of NHS Trust patients, service users and clinicians across the region through surveys, interviews and focus groups. We also gathered data on GP practice and A&E visits, hospital admissions, and calls to NHS 111 and 999, to gain a full understanding of the current available healthcare provision in the region.
Through this research, we identified a number of factors which were significantly impacting patient experience in the region, including lack of access to communication channels with NHS professionals, a lack of data sharing between NHS departments leading to a lack of insight into patients’ medical background, and antiquated record-keeping systems with paper-based care and treatment plans subject to loss, damage or mis-filing.
Our vision was for a solution that would put citizens at the heart of their own health and care, empowering them to self-manage and lead their health and care journey. To do this, we wanted to create an ecosystem of trusted, interoperable apps and resources which would not be product or vendor dependent, but which would ensure that all data adhered to defined standards, being safe and secure but also accessible and shareable where required.
We proposed the creation of a ‘citizen front door’ digital personal health platform, to provide seamless support across acute, physical, mental, community and social care, within robust interoperability standards.
The platform would provide a single location for holding citizens’ health data where it could be accessed by both the citizen and their entire care team. This approach would not only increase transparency, but also allow for better communication between citizens and clinicians, leading to more informed decision-making on both sides around both physical and mental health. Centralising records in this way would not only reduce the strain on NHS Trusts but also reduce administrative costs, as appointment letters and other documents could be issued digitally, reducing correspondence lead times.
Using our tried and tested MAIA product as a basis for the solution, we created a bespoke platform for the region. Open source and secure to NHS standards, we have used MAIA as a base for PHR platforms for over five NHS organisations.
The initial features included on the development roadmap, such as the ability for citizens to access correspondence and track their health data in a central location, are based on the insights gained during the research phase.
During this phase of the project we identified six user personas, and throughout product development, we constantly examined and validated our approach with these personas in mind.
As the PHR platform is modular, elements and features can be moved around and switched on and off to accommodate changing priorities across different Trusts and regions.
Key to the success of the platform is the integration and interoperability with third parties, which will enable individual NHS Trusts to maintain existing supplier relationships but also to develop new ones.
A COMPLEX, MULTI-SUPPLIER IMPLEMENTATION
Mindwave are now leading on a large and complex implementation project to integrate multiple third party suppliers into the platform, including appointment management system Patients Know Best, GP record system Evergreen, and maternity care PHR Lincus.
The biggest challenge to PHR platform development is connecting into clinical systems; Mindwave are owning the relationships with all 12 third parties who will be contributing data, in order to ensure full compliance with NHS security standards; we have set out and agreed a set of standards for all suppliers integrating to the regional citizen portal platform.
The first phase of testing will involve pilot projects at three hospitals; St Helens and Knowsley, Warrington and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, with the final version of the portal expected to rollout across the region in March 2021.