The trust is one of the first in the UK to adopt the Allscripts dbMotion information sharing platform, and was planning a full-scale deployment this summer, following internal testing and a proof of concept with local GPs.
When the pandemic arrived, it accelerated its plans and delivered a three to six-month project in just ten-weeks, starting with the data that would most help doctors to treat patients with COVID-19.
This included adding medications information from the IT system used by local GPs and data feeds from the trust’s pathology, imaging, and document management systems.
These developments mean clinicians have access to more information about the medical history of their patients and can quickly access their drug history, past discharge summaries, and notes without having to log-in to many different systems.
Chief information officer Adam Thomas explained: "We had the dbMotion platform in place, but we really accelerated work during the coronavirus outbreak to support clinical decision making earlier in the patient journey.
"During a pandemic, it is vital that clinicians have access to the medical history of their patients, so they can triage them effectively and direct them to the right care.
"Doctors treating COVID-19 patients also need past history, underlying conditions, medicines and allergies to speed treatment decisions. We were able to give them that using dbMotion."
Other information sharing products exist, but Thomas said the attraction of dbMotion was three-fold. First, it sits on whatever IT system that clinicians use in their day-to-day workflow.
Technically, the dbMotion solution uses a context linking overlay called Agent in a clinician’s own system to highlight where new information is available and present it in a normalised, aggregated format.
At The Dudley Group, this means that staff see the Agent as a blue button in Sunrise electronic patient record that alerts them if there is more information available from other sources about the patient whose record they are viewing. There is no need for them to log-in to another application or search for the data. The same is true for GPs using their EMIS electronic patient record.
Second, clinicians can take elements of the GP or other provider data in dbMotion and add it to their own record using a feature called SendToMyEHR without manual transcription, which The Dudley Group is about to roll-out.
And third the care co-ordination tools, allow multi-disciplinary teams across care setting to co-author care plans that 'wrap around' the patient and enable them to be cared for at home or in the community where possible.
This is a focus for the NHS as it looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but it also aligns with the national vision for a more integrated and responsive health and care system.
Adam Thomas said: "Our plan now is to make more use of the dbMotion platform. The NHS is open for business, by sharing the information in dbMotion with clinical teams, we will be able to create care co-ordination packages that will support them in the most appropriate setting, while working towards the aspirations of integrated care set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
"Moving rapidly to embed dbMotion in our clinical decision making was essential to our emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it has left us in a position to move forward with care co-ordination as we progress into service recovery and working in new ways."
The Dudley Group went live with Sunrise Acute Care in 2018 and launched its proof of concept for dbMotion with a small number of GP practices at the same time. It was working with Allscripts on a plan for a full roll-out when the coronavirus arrived.
Simon Richards, the project lead, said: "We had a list of things in place that we were planning to implement over three to six months, and then suddenly everything changed.
"Fortunately, we were in a position to move very quickly, and we have had very positive feedback from doing that. One of our hospital doctors just said: 'That blue button is bloody brilliant'."
Max Hodges, the trust's chief clinical information officer and an anaesthetist, said: "Access to patient information is always valuable. By accelerating this project, we have not just supported our clinicians during the COVID-19 crisis but improved the quality of information that is available to clinicians to support patient care in the future."
Next steps for the trust's digital team include a roll out of Sunrise e-prescribing within its hospitals, the addition of more information feeds to dbMotion, sharing hospital information with GPs via the platform, and creating a patient portal.
Richard Strong, vice president and managing director, EMEA, Allscripts, said "The Dudley Group's rapid activation of its dbMotion plans were a good example of how the pace of health tech deployment has increased during the pandemic."
"The work The Dudley Group has done has not just helped staff through the coronavirus crisis, but put it in a much better position to move forward with information sharing and integrated care agendas as the NHS looks to 'reset, not just recover' in the coming months," he said.
About AllscriptsAllscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) is a leader in healthcare information technology solutions that advance clinical, financial and operational results. Our innovative solutions connect people, places and data across an Open, Connected Community of Health™. Connectivity empowers caregivers to make better decisions and deliver better care for healthier populations.