Delegates from 13 of Yorkshire’s CCGs attended a meeting on January 17th held by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and IEG4 to learn about IEG4’s fully digital solution for the organisation and management of Continuing Healthcare Assessments.
Having a robust Continuing Healthcare Plan in place is essential for patients who require additional support upon leaving secondary care. This complex NHS service interacts with many organisations and is prone to delays and a lack of communication between organisations. This often results in delayed transfers of care for patients, and financial penalties for CCGs who fail to meet the 28 day target for undertaking a Continuing Healthcare Assessment.
Supported by the AHSN, and the Small Business Research and Innovation Fund for Healthcare, IEG4 recognised the need to streamline the process of organising Continuing Healthcare Assessments and developed their solution, CHC2DST, that:
- eliminates the need for paper and the consequential paper-based delays in the Continuing Healthcare assessment processes;
- provides workflow validation to increase the speed, efficiency and auditability of the Continuing Healthcare assessment processes; and,
- records all the assessment information, together with confirmation of process steps taken, so that Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) recommendations can be verified as soon as they are presented.
One of the Trusts that IEG4 have worked with during the development of CHC2DST found that at least 15 days of delay were in-built into their hospital-based assessment processes. This delay was caused by waiting for paper administration and transmission. IEG4’s solution, CHC2DST, eliminates the need for paper within the process by digitising the nationally adopted Checklist and Decision Support Tool (DST) forms.
CHC2DST allows for assessments to be developed collaboratively by Multi-Disciplinary Teams, thus speeding up the collation of information for the recommendation. These Multi-Disciplinary Needs Assessments (MDNAs) feed into the creation of a recommendation recorded in an electronic Decision Support Tool (e-DST).
Speakers at the meeting discussed the importance of improving the Continuing Healthcare process to ensure that patients receive the best care possible in a timely fashion:
- Paul Taylor, Collaborative Workstream Lead, NHS England Strategic Improvement Programme for Continuing Healthcare, spoke about NHS England’s priorities within Continuing Healthcare and provided an overview of the framework that they will shortly be providing to CCGs.
- Neville Young, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN discussed the regional priorities for improving patient care, realising cost savings within the NHS and the AHSN’s priority areas over the coming year.
- Charles MacKinnon and Jackie Gill of IEG4 explained the process behind the development of the solution and demonstrated its ease of use.
- Tracey Cole, Head of Continuing Care at Cheshire and Wirral CCGs talked about her team’s experience of co-designing IEG4’s system so that it was fully refined to the their needs before implementation. Tracey also highlighted the benefits that they have realised through saved administrative time and the streamlined method of undertaking Continuing Healthcare Assessments across five CCGs.
The benefits that can be realised through the introduction of CHC2DST are yet to be fully evaluated, but initial evidence from improvements made in the Continuing Healthcare service at Cheshire and Wirral CCG indicates that the system has been a fundamental part of their service redesign, and that Continuing Healthcare Assessments have been completed significantly more quickly than previously. The CCG have also put in place an independent evaluation of the implementation of the service. It is anticipated that this will provide evidence of CHC2DST’s contribution to increased efficiency and cost savings.
An independent economic assessment of the digital service was undertaken by Dr Jonathan Besley on behalf of the SBRI funders and is available for interested CCGs, by request, via http://www.chc2dst.com/.
If you would like more information about IEG4’s system, please email firstname.lastname@example.org