A new information sharing standard that could help health and social care professionals provide a more integrated service for people with long-term needs has been released by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).
By setting out key information that needs to be collected, recorded and shared in a care plan, the PRSB believes that the standard would facilitate “better and safer” care for patients and create a more personalised service.
Under the new standard, social workers and health care professionals would use a live document to record and share patient information. This would mean that both sets of staff would have access to the right information and would be able to keep abreast of updates by using the same record.
Information in the digital care and support plan would also include a record of the person’s goals and what they would like to happen if their health deteriorates, helping health and care staff to better understand how they can support the service user. The PRSB believes it would offer a more personalised health and social care service.
Growing need for joined up care
Joe Kelly, social work clinical advisor and integrated discharge team lead at MFT South-Wythenshawe Hospital, was involved in the development of the new standard. Although it is yet to be trialled, he believes the standard would benefit a growing number of people living with long-term conditions.
“A lack of integration currently means that information is not available for the individual at the right place and time. Consequently, continuity of care is often disrupted, and decisions are made without considering all relevant information which can – in some cases – result in inappropriate hospital admissions.
“A digital care and support plan will provide a consistent approach across care settings to make care better and safer, and by ensuring that all the right information is available for those who most require it at the right time and place.”
Kelly added this would mean service users and their carers would spend less time repeating information, and would enable them to better coordinate that their needs, goals and outcomes are clearly and accurately recorded.
Personalised care plan
Patients would also have greater access to information about their own care plan under the new standard. This is in line with a national effort to give people with long-term conditions a personalised care plan.
Chair of the PRSB Professor Maureen Baker CBE said the standard would empower those using the service to have greater involvement with their care plan.
“This is the first care and support plan of its kind and we will see the development of more specialist plans in the future. Increasingly, people want to take ownership for their own healthcare. Better information sharing between different services and the people using those services will help this happen.”
The new standard will be trialled in North west London later this year.