Enhanced functionality but a consistent focus
Medication safety and efficiency is far from a new area of focus for Orion Health. Through our Medicines solution, we have long enabled NHS organisations to improve the way in which medications are recorded and managed.
But we have an additional and rapidly developing element of our software which we believe offers the ability to truly transform work in this area: Medicines Platform.
This paper explains exactly what the Medicines Platform element of our Medicines solution does. It will give you a sense of how Medicines Platform might be able to help in your own organisation or region, and outlines why we believe it’s an important next step in the journey to safer, more effective, more integrated care. If you’re interested in finding out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Aaron Jackson, Medicines Product Director at Orion Health.
Building on our existing capabilities
As a company dedicated to digital solutions that improve healthcare efficiency and outcomes, it is inevitable that medicines is an area of focus for us at Orion Health.
After all, a 2018 study from the University of Manchester estimated that 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year, and stated avoidable adverse drug reactions cause hundreds of deaths. This reinforces findings from previous research studies around the world.
Our Orion Health integrated digital care record solution, built on the Amadeus platform, makes it possible to view medication information from a wide range of source systems, including electronic patient records from across care settings. But our Medicines solution makes it possible to view this information in a single, consolidated view.
It does that through Medicines Platform. Medicines Platform consolidates information from the two other parts of our Medicines solution:
- Medications Management, for the acute sector, which makes it possible for clinicians to record, reconcile and manage medications where care is transferred to and from a hospital
- Community Medicines, which enables recording, reconciling and managing medications in non-hospital settings to optimize therapy and support medication adherence
But, crucially, Medicines Platform combines this data with information taken from other third party systems used across different organisations within your region. The result is an amalgamated, robust medicines record that clinicians can trust.
Interoperability at the very heart
As with all Orion Health products, Platform is built on an unerring belief in interoperability and non-proprietary setups. We believe data sharing means better care, better outcomes and more efficiency – and we’re dedicated to supporting all three.
Through its use of FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) and open standards, Medicines Platform enables the sharing of a patient’s consolidated medication history with other digital solutions.
FHIR application programming interfaces (APIs) also make sure the solution seamlessly supports SNOMED medicine terminologies. In other words, the information collected, stored and shared is in a consistent language which will make sense across settings.
It means that Medicines Platform seamlessly fits into a more integrated approach to care, one which crosses organisational and care setting boundaries and supports more of a population-centric understanding. You can rest assured that no data is locked in and it can follow the patients as they move between care settings.
A fully consolidated view, with greater safety and efficiency as a result
Medicines Platform means that, for the first time, relevant health and care professionals can see all medication information for a patient in one place. Prescription orders, dispensing information, details of drug administration and reconciled lists are all presented in an easy-to-understand view which is continuously updated.
For every patient, there is an authoritative medicines record – one that takes into account the interactions that individual has had with clinicians across care settings. That information is fully searchable, filterable, and has privacy safeguards built in. It shows who prescribed what, when and where. It also identifies what a patient’s current medication list is likely to be at any given time.
And with a full picture of a patient’s medication, it becomes possible to offer sophisticated decision support to clinicians. Medicines Platform automatically alerts the clinician when they are about to prescribe a therapy which a patient is already on – regardless of whether the initial course had been prescribed within or beyond the healthcare setting in which that clinician operates.
Informed decision making
It’s also possible to see full information on drug allergies and adverse reactions within the integrated Medicines Platform. No longer is there a danger that a patient’s GP knows of an allergy to penicillin which is unknown to acute clinicians when that patient arrives unconscious in A&E.
In other words, informed decision making becomes the norm: something which has traditionally been a rarity when it comes to medicines, simply because of a lack of information sharing.
Managing the growth in polypharmacy – in which patients are on multiple medications at once, sometimes unnecessarily – becomes much easier. So too do conversations with patients about which medications they are actually taking. That makes it more likely individuals take the therapies prescribed for them, as well as supporting an improved patient/clinician relationship.
We believe all of this leads to greatly enhanced medication safety, superior efficiency in managing medicines and better use of medicines with patients. In turn that means better patient care and cost savings for the NHS.
A valuable next step on your journey to better care
Whether you already have some aspect of the Medicines solution in place already or are still refining your integrated digital care record, we believe Medicines Platform is a really valuable next step.
It doesn’t only bolster the safety and efficiency of your organisation’s use of medicines, leading to better patient care at lower cost. It also slots seamlessly into an integrated approach to delivering care, centred on interoperability and open standards.
Whether you’re responsible for digitisation, for medicines safety or for efficiency, Medicines Platform is worth exploring as the next step on your journey.
We’re always delighted to talk through Medicines Platform and explore how it might make a difference for you, your colleagues, your organisation and your region. We can also talk through the difference the Medicines solution has already made for a number of organisations.
To find out more, get in touch with Aaron Jackson, Medicines Product Director at Orion Health.