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South West Yorkshire NHS Trust deploys clinical portal

NHS trust’s new clinical portal aims to speed up access to patient information by allowing clinicians to access data from eight different IT systems

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is in the middle of rolling out a clinical portal, bringing together patient information from eight separate IT systems.

The specialist trust, which provides mental health, community and learning disability services, operates across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, with many different IT systems in place across the areas.  

The portal, named Portia, based on technology from ReStart Consulting, will provide staff across the trust with access to information from all the IT systems in a single view.  

The deployment originally began around a year ago with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) departments, which then realised it had huge potential in that the departments could extend access to their information to other services across the trust.

It was seen as an area that could quickly deliver benefits through the introduction of shared records and interoperability that could quickly be scaled up, adding more functionality over time.

South West Yorkshire has taken a “building block” approach to the deployment across the rest of the trust, meaning it could go live relatively quickly with the portal. 

“Given that our localities have a varied mix of current and legacy systems, holding patient information which could be beneficial for care, we were realistic in terms of achievability, timescale and cost for Portia,” said the trust’s head of IT services and systems development, Paul Foster.  

The trust believes the roll-out of the portal supports the ambitions set out by the government in the NHS Long Term Plan by reducing clinical risks associated with having different bits of information across lots of different systems. 

“The early signs for benefits realisation are encouraging; across the trust, clinicians are aiming to save a significant number of days in unnecessary administration annually,” said Foster.

Currently, the portal is “view only”, so clinicians can look up information using the portal, but aren’t able to enter any information through it. However, the next step for the trust is to include write functionality and use the portal as the basis for a shared patient record.

The portal uses the Viper360 presentation layer, which can also be scaled up to allow patient interaction on the platform. 

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