The Wirral Health Informatics Service (WHIS) is an NHS department which provides Information and I.T. services to the health organisations in Wirral, Merseyside, including: Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral Primary Care Trust and Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust. They all jointly retain the services of WHIS to deliver infrastructure, development, support and project management services relating to their national NHS Information and I.T. obligations.
The project at WHIS was part of a national research initiative on the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Wirral was tasked to develop the electronic record register for cancer patients. The data quality issue arose from trying to identify non-identically matching patient records across multiple and different organisations to create a common holistic view of the cancer patient’s records.
As you can appreciate this is a very sensitive area and critical that records are correctly matched to avoid both embarrassment and medical negligence. Imagine the impact of incorrectly associating a live patient with a bereaved one, or notifying a healthy patient that they require cancer treatment.
The Solution Provider
With over 10 years’ experience in data quality improvement, DQ Global® specialises in easy to use, database independent, data cleansing software which saves money and provides a platform for better informed decisions. Solutions range from simple desktop, through larger departmental databases to complex enterprise-wide single customer view and master data management initiatives. Head Quartered in Fareham, Hampshire, UK DQ Global® serve over 500 clients worldwide, including: Toshiba, Harvey Nichols, Standard Charter Bank, Pfizer and Siemens.
DQ Global® provided the core technology their products are built upon, the DQ Toolkit™. The technology allowed WHIS to embed data formatting, standardisation and matching capabilities right into their patient record management application, enabling WHIS to identify duplicate patient records with very high levels of confidence.
The use of the DQ Toolkit™ was extended to be embedded into the Wirral MPI (WiMPI) and then further extended to one of the most advanced and complete EHR systems in the NHS. The DQ Toolkit™ allowed WHIS to cleanse and match demographic databases across primary, (GP’s), secondary (Hospitals) and Tertiary care sectors (Specialist Oncology units) and link all their clinical data.
Our technical architect was effusive in praise for the DQ products, cost and effectiveness.
Pete Marsh MBE Technical Director Wirral Health Informatics Services
WHIS now has a duplicate free, single patient view for the electronic cancer register. More recently the systems use has been expanded to the central Master Patient Index (MPI) in Wirral linking 68 systems across the local NHS community. This has allowed the development of remote order communications from GPs to hospital for radiology and pathology investigations.
Future use of the technology is in the area of a contact project derived from the Victoria Climbie Inquiry to identify and track all children activity in health and social care.
Another upcoming project is the development of “virtual wards” in the community to reduce number of emergency admissions to hospital by targeted high risk groups of patients such as COAD, diabetes and heart failure etc.