It was great to hear Jeremy Hunt’s speech today at the NHS Innovation Expo. People came to us after the talk to say “he’s describing PKB isn’t he?”. Below is how PKB and its customers have been delivering on these aspirations for several years As he pointed out, no other country as big as England has ever made such a commitment to offer such digital health services to all its population. PKB’s software-as-a-service architecture allows roll-out at regional scale, eg the 1 million people of Surrey and the 2.3 million people of Northwest London, and at national scale, eg the 3.5 million people of Wales.
Here are the challenges set by Jeremy Hunt today, along with explanations of how PKB already delivers on them.
111 app by 2019
Mr Hunt mentioned “the work in London for sharing records with 111”. PKB is working within North West London to allow 111 responders – with the patient’s consent during a call – to see the patient’s care plan, enabling them to choose the best course of action based on a more complete understanding of that specific patient’s needs.
GP data via an app by end of 2018
PKB already shows data from GP systems. But the platform goes much further as it is the only system to also show in the same record data from primary, secondary, mental health and social care services as well as the patient, carers and over 100 medical devices where appropriate. This article will later address how accessing a rich data set from a range of services, not just GP data, can achieve great outcomes.
Set data sharing preferences online
“People should be able to access their own medical records 24/7, show their full medical history to anyone they choose”. PKB was founded on these principles, and is the world’s first patient-controlled record. In 2015 PKB introduced privacy labels to divide the record into general, mental, sexual, and social care sections allowing the patient to share the sections they want with whoever they want. This privacy mode is the only one flexible enough to cope with most situations whilst still being usable enough for most patients to intuitively understand.
End of life care
Large emphasis is put on not only giving people the options to express where they wish to die, but being able to do this is an easily accessible way for patients and clinicians. PKB’s care plans can be edited and contributed to by all teams to whom the patient has granted access, as well as the patient and their carers. These can clearly state what a patient’s preferences are (including that the patient has decided this and it has been agreed or discussed with appropriate services). By contrast, traditional electronic health records and traditional patient portals are tied to institutions, preventing shared editing,
PKB’s care plans can be viewed by all relevant parties with appropriate consent, including 111 responders so that they know to advise carers/other services that a patient must be treated at home.
PKB provides multiple aspects of functionality which specifically support those with long term conditions with a proven history of successful outcomes across multiple conditions. Bristol’s severe trauma team have reduced GP appointments and improved patient engagement. Luton’s inflammatory bowel disease team have kept patients out of hospital and prevented colonoscopies. Oxford’s cancer team are giving their patients their test results in real-time. We are now rolling out across the whole of Wales for people with diabetes under the age of 25.
These patients use PKB’s full features including symptom tracking; measurements from home monitoring devices; and integrations with hospital laboratory systems to provide access to test results without having to go into hospital. For those with who are largely stable, being able to have a concise overview of all these aspects of their health information within a specific care plan can improve their activation and allow for easier monitoring and stabilisation, reducing the need for unnecessary routine follow up. When there are changes to their health these are more easily noticeable, and with the correct guidance can be quickly dealt with to avoid escalation and unplanned admissions. The ability to securely message clinicians to seek guidance can also reduce both planned and unplanned admissions.
Many of the aspirations Jeremy Hunt has set out for all the NHS are already being achieved by PKB’s forward-thinking customers who have been putting these into practise for many years. This is no longer blue sky thinking, but is demonstrable here and now. The improvements to quality combined with more efficient ways of working are all around and PKB has 10 years of experience integrating, not around buildings and organisations as traditionally demonstrated by the healthcare IT industry, but around the individuals receiving care. Examples of the empowered patient embracing the technology available and working collaboratively with their clinicians to give themselves the best possible outcomes are all around – examples that are replicable across many cohorts if care providers are given the tools to enable them. The NHS no longer has to look to the future to achieve, but can do so here and now supported by tools such as PKB, which was designed for these exact purposes.