Community, HANDI, Healthcare IT

What does good look like?

We hosted the 4th London Connect Community of Practice event last Thursday. Nesta were kind enough to provide a room, coffee and lunch to keep everyone sharp! The community has been growing steadily by word of mouth since it started, and it was amazing to see 53 people turn up to talk about personal health records. The theme was ‘What does good look like, in the context of personal health records?”.

The CoP is a group which exists to promote and educate the public and care providers on the benefits of personal health records. The community is unique as it is patient focused; representation is approximately 30% patients, 30% health service workers (Doctors, nurses, managers) and 30% industry. Everyone has a voice, and all voices are equal. This leads to some really interesting insight into actual needs and how our precious solutions are viewed by the users.

Sam and Howard set the challenge to the community
Sam and Howard set the challenge to the community

Sam started the event by setting the scene and introducing what the group was trying to achieve, with a little help from Howard Leicester. We then had presentations of 4 different Personal health records: Brian Fisher started by demoing iPatient by PAERs, which works with GP practices running EMIS.

Dave Newton talked through myHealthLocker, which is the HealthVault based personal health records developed by South London and Maudsley mental health Trust.

Dave from SLaM talks about myHealthLocker
Dave from SLaM talks about myHealthLocker

Kristen from Patients Know Best told us the advantages and some of the impressive usage stats around their system, and finally Tom demoed DrDoctor.

It was interesting to compare the different approaches taken; obviously DrDoctor is a transactional system, whereas myHealthLocker is more of an online health journal, helping patients with mental health document their progress and share it with the clinicians. Each has its place, and there was much discussion about how we can integrate systems better to offer the most value to users.

With that in mind, we set the community with an ‘integration challenge’. We think that DrDoctor, with its quick, easy access to appointments, results and feedback is a really good way to introduce people to the idea of managing their care online. We believe that building an ecosystem is the way to move all of this wonderful technology into common use, and so we’re offering to integrate our system with anyone who is offering a patient portal, feedback system or records access. By working together, building an ecosystem and focusing on interoperability we can build a better health service.

The last hour was spent in break out groups to working on Usability, Functionality and Security. The aim is that each group will work more on their area of interest and feed it back to the community at the next meeting.

Dave F from White October talks about usability
Dave Fletcher from White October talks about usability

There was lots of positive feedback from the day, and it seems the community is having a positive effect – as this quote from one of the patients who attended attests – “I am glad I got involved with London Connect. I probably would have been against it [PHRS’s] for a variety of reasons but have changed my mind and shall convince people I know.”

The next community will be in a couple of months time. Please get in touch with us, or Improvement Science London if you’d like to attend. The aim will be to generate some action on this issue in London.