2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the National health service (NHS) in the UK. Commonwealth Fund, a Washington-based foundation which is respected around the world for its analysis of the performance of health systems across the world, declared NHS the best healthcare system in the world. NHS has been there for us and our families when we need it the most – to provide urgent and emergency care. But these are complex and challenging times for UK’s most trusted and respected social institution. Pressure on the NHS is greater than it has ever been.
The five-year forward view, published in October 2014 by NHS England, set out a vision of biggest integrated care of any major western country. This transformational change is taking the form of ‘accountable care systems’ (ACSs) covering seven million people, as highlighted in the five year forward view refresh- 2017. ACSs are a way of transforming care and achieving system-wide resilience and efficiency because no single organisation can solve current healthcare challenges on its own. They will see the breaking down of organisational boundaries to streamline services and ultimately improve the experience of patients, carers and citizens.
Strategic Priorities of ACSs
Among other things, ACSs will be driving key initiatives in population health and personalised medicine to improve patient outcomes and the quality of their local health economy. Longer-term, by improving the health of the population, there will be reducing demand for health and social care services. ACSs must be able to make informed decisions to improve health outcomes for their population. Information and data sharing is critical to making sure these initiatives deliver the desired outcomes. ACSs will also drive the direction of medical research in the UK by identifying the gaps. Driving these outcomes will require complete and accurate datasets, harnessed from across organisations in the network. The harnessing of data relies on interoperability of systems and bringing data together in a way where it can be easily interrogated and discerned. And, all this while keeping patient information secure and private.
However, in any ACS geography, providers have chosen Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and other IT systems from multiple vendors. These IT systems do a decent job of cutting waste, eliminating red tape, and reducing the need to repeat expensive medical tests. What ACSs don’t have is the ability to bring together data from these disparate data-rich systems. The result? Patient data has simply moved from one ‘locker’ (paper charts) into another (the cloud). This presents an enormous challenge for ACSs – information sharing is at the heart of their work and yet the systems are ‘hiding’ that data and hence not providing the necessary evidence and knowledge.
How SAP Health Platform Solves the Problem
By simplifying the integration of all structured and unstructured data into an easily-accessed, standards-based data warehouse, the SAP Health Platform, makes it easier for care providers to view, search and drive more value out of their healthcare data than ever before. It enables the health IT systems to be more efficient in several ways:
- Consolidate, cleanse, and perform real-time analysis of clinical and genomics data from various source systems on an open, secure platform
- Get a holistic view across medical data stored in disconnected silos
- Achieve faster time to value using a predefined, extensible data model
- Optimize patient outcomes through precision medicine and prevention support
- Captures all hospital data using standard interfaces (DICOM, HL7, XDS and unstructured content), which can be used to capture new information or perform historic migrations;
- Maintains data quality, e.g. demographic updates;
- Ensures data is stored safely and efficiently and manages onward data migrations, so the EPR doesn’t have to
Benefits of SAP Health platform
Harnessing data from a multitude of sources to develop a comprehensive view of the patient can enable:
- A digital network for a new, consumer-centric healthcare ecosystem
- More personalised patient interaction, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment.
- Real-time information sharing between care providers and patients to drive cost effectiveness
- Presentation of data in a way that clinicians and executives can ultimately use it
Where SAP has done it before
American society of clinical oncology (ASCO) wanted to organise massive volumes of data of every cancer patient in the US into usable knowledge. SAP developed CancerLinq platform to connect and analyse electronic records to provide data for more informed decisions about patient care. Today patient data from more than a million cancer patients is available on the CancerLinq platform. Thus, instead of limiting insights to patients in clinical trials—which takes years to complete—ASCO is learning from nearly every patient as they undergo care and make that information available to experts across the country.
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Germany, delivers patient care, cancer research, and cancer prevention. Accessing and analysing patient data was a complex and time-consuming process for NCT employees. It was important to eliminate manual processes and reduce the back and forth required between medical staff and the IT department to get access to the data. SAP developed SAP Medical Research Insights – a web application based on SAP Health Platform that allows fast, easy, and secure access to patient data and comparison of patient profiles from various sources SAP health platform to save lives.