Microsoft and Maudsley Join Up to Develop a World First for Mental Healthcare

MicrosoftSouth London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Microsoft are working in partnership to develop a personal online health record for people using mental health services. Using Microsoft's privacy and security-enhanced HealthVault platform, SLaM will be able to offer an online solution that enables clinicians and patients to work collaboratively on care and treatment by providing patients secure access to their health records and the facility to contribute to them directly.

This represents the next phase in patient choice by empowering patients to shape and influence their care and treatment plans. The aim is to encourage a more equal dialogue between patient and clinician and improve the nature of the relationship. It ultimately puts the patient in greater control of their healthcare, allowing individuals to become more engaged.

SLaM's aim is to develop a web portal that uses the HealthVault platform to provide patients with access to their health records and also encourages a two-way flow of information between clinicians and patients. The Trust will be working with patients and clinicians to develop the system over the next few months.

Mike Denis, Director of Information Strategy at SLaM says; "This is not just about giving people access to their health records. This approach will provide patients with information that gives them more control over their health and wellbeing. It will empower them to make informed decisions and provide meaningful input into their own care plans and treatment methods - which will ultimately lead to better patient care. The development is in keeping with the Information Revolution - transforming the way information is accessed, collected, and used by the NHS to ultimately give people more control and greater choice about their care. The heart of this is about openness, transparency and choice."

"Patients engage in different ways with their clinicians and often express desire to be more involved in the treatment and services they receive," says Martin Baggaley, Medical Director at SLaM. "This is why we see Microsoft HealthVault as a valuable tool in helping us to move in the direction of considering and strengthening the patient-clinician relationship by working in partnership with patients to facilitate their recovery journeys."

Strand Technology, whose clinical records system is used by SLaM, has also become an approved HealthVault software partner and is working with Microsoft to connect SLaM's clinical records to HealthVault. This will enable SLaM's record systems to share relevant data with HealthVault in order to let patients access key clinical information about themselves, improve their involvement, and to control their care and treatment. Strand will work closely with the Trust's clinical and information governance teams to ensure information is securely managed and only shared or accessed with the explicit consent of the patient.

SLaM has also selected Get Real Consulting (GRC), a worldwide leader in developing HealthVault applications, as the strategic technology partner in its development of online health applications. GRC will define and implement two HealthVault-compatible web applications based on GRC's proprietary, award-winning patient health management platform, InstantPHR. The web applications will be developed in collaboration with SLaM service users and clinicians.

"We are very excited to be taking a step closer to offering this facility to our service users," continues Denis. "It may not be something every patient wants to sign up for, but soon the option will be there - and that's a leap forward for patient empowerment."

"It is fantastic to work with a Trust that is so focused on patient welfare and is bold enough to challenge, change and revolutionise traditional ways of working in order to empower patients and provide better care," says John Gobron, UK Director at Microsoft's Health Solutions Group. "This is a great example of taking advantage of the benefits of technology within healthcare. We look forward to working closely with SLaM on the rollout of this programme and are excited about the positive impact that increased patient stakeholder engagement can bring."

SLaM, which is part of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, is at the forefront of delivering innovative IT solutions within the health sector. The Trust's electronic patient record system is the largest of its kind in Europe, now containing over 170,000 entries.

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About South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) provides the widest range of mental health and substance misuse services in the UK. SLaM treats people in South London and offers specialist services for people from across the country. The Maudsley Hospital is one of a number of facilities operated by SLaM.

South London and Maudsley is part of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre - a major collaboration between three of the country's most successful NHS Foundations Trusts - Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley, and one of the world's leading research universities, King's College, London.

About Microsoft HealthVault
HealthVault provides a privacy and security enhanced platform for holding personal wellness and health information in a single place and in a structured and interoperable format. HealthVault gives people easy access to, and more control over, their personal health information. This builds on Microsoft's core competencies in delivering web-scale consumer applications, and in handling complex information management challenges.

Not only does HealthVault put users in charge of their own health data, but it also offers huge opportunities for organisations in the healthcare ecosystem to build applications and services that help people engage in their health and wellness. Moreover, the security features built into HealthVault mean that users can take control over who can access and use their data.

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