Digital roadmap for implementing a primary care network clinical system hub
We helped implement a clinical system hub which led to significant cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and halved GP time for Worcester City Primary Care Network (PCN), demonstrating the transformative impact of our collaboration.
Worcester City PCN approached the Digital Transformation team at NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU (MLCSU) to join their project team and to provide support and expertise in implementing the clinical system hub. The clinical system hub enables PCNs to better support their neighbourhood working. This functionality supports coordinated working across organisations within the PCNs using some of the key functionalities below:
- Record sharing – view and update GP records and shared record information from any approved organisation within a PCN, including from the hub
- Cross-organisational appointments book – book from any organisation into another organisation with a single user account
- Electronic prescribing – the clinical system hub can be used to prescribe medication using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).
The Digital Transformation team worked closely with Worcester City PCN to oversee their PCN hub implementation. They quickly formed a constructive and collaborative relationship. Task-oriented goals were agreed upon with the PCN, and progress was tracked through weekly reviews. The team focussed on the following areas:
- Electronic pathology test requesting
- PCN prescribing and cost centre codes
- Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) mailbox
- GP Connect testing with NHS111.
Our Digital Transformation team offered valuable advice, and guidance whilst empowering the PCN’s project team to play a pivotal role in informing the PCN’s decisions and supporting their activities. The team provided validation and assurance regarding the technical aspects of the project, ensuring that the PCN made well-informed choices and avoided unnecessary investments and efforts.
By taking the advice on board, the PCN gained the confidence to engage with relevant parties, including suppliers, which significantly expedited the implementation process. This increased efficiency, allowing the PCN to achieve their goals more swiftly and effectively. With the guidance and support provided, the PCN achieved significant cost savings in their hub system implementation, reducing their cost by approximately £5,000.
Furthermore, the implementation of the GP overflow appointments service proved highly effective. The service managed to reduce GP time by half, from six hours to just three hours. This significant time-saving allowed for more efficient utilisation of resources, freeing up valuable GP appointments for practice use. Our involvement led to cost savings and improved efficiency for the PCN.
I can’t put a value on the expertise MLCSU brings to the table. They were able to battle through the EMIS jargon… Having that level of expertise as part of the project team was a great support. Would highly recommend it.
David McDowell – Digital and Transformation Lead / Patient Services Manager, Worcester City PCN
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