Hackney takes first step to digitising transfer of care

London borough plans discovery phase of project to build replicable model for assessment, discharge and withdrawal notifications

Hackney Council has taken the first steps in a project to create a digitised transfer of care process to ensure hospital patients needing social care receive the support.

Empty hospital bedIt has begun to look for a partner in the discovery phase, working with Homerton University Hospital, with the long term aim of developing a model that can be used by other local authorities and healthcare organisations.

The project is one of those to receive the support of NHS Digital to develop solutions for the real time transfer of assessment, discharge and withdrawal (ADW) notifications.

The overall aim of the project is to ensure that patients can be discharged when they are well enough to leave hospital, but with any services and support they need planned out.  It is also aimed at helping nurses carry out discharge assessments for early notification to social care, and enabling them to revise a discharge and update other care providers when a patient’s condition changes.

It should also keep social workers informed of what patients need and inform when a discharge is cancelled.

API requirements

Hackney has identified a handful of technical requirements for the project, including the need to identify an API architecture to query the Cerner Millenium electronic health record at Homerton Hospital, and how to consume a representational state transfer API in the Mosaic social care system. It also needs to identify the team needed for the next phase of work.

The discovery phase is expected to run for three months, but as yet there is no timescale for the delivery of the final product.

Hackney is one of seven local authorities to receive shares of £1.4 million to help digitise their ADW notices. The process currently relies heavily on faxes and post, which slows down the transfer of care and adds significantly to the ‘bed blocking’ problem in many hospitals.

Image by BrokenSphere, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons