Orion Health is supporting the Professional Record Standards Body’s partnership scheme by applying to become a ‘quality partner’.
The company, which is one of the UK’s leading providers of shared care records and population health management systems, will work with the PRSB to develop the ‘core information standard’ and its assessment process.
The ‘core information standard’ is critical because it underpins the NHS’ drive to make sure that every integrated care system has a ‘basic’ shared care record in place and is ready to develop a ‘comprehensive’ shared care record by 2024.
Orion Health will also be assessed against the PRSB’s ‘document naming’ standard as part of its support for the partnership scheme, which has been set-up to recognise healthcare IT vendors with a strong commitment to best practice.
Nadine Carey-Whitehead, sales director at Orion Health, said: “Open standards are core to what we do at Orion Health. Without them, it is incredibly difficult to gather and make sense of all the data that needs to go into a shared care record from across the health and care sector, so we are always looking out for ways to support their development and adoption.
“We have said that we will help the PRSB to develop its core information standard and the process for assessing companies against it in any way that we can. As a market leader, we have the benefit of having a product in use on the ground that already exceeds the requirements of the ‘basic’ shared care record.
“However, we want other companies to be using this standard and for customers to be asking them to do that. If everybody uses standards, it supports the production of high quality information and the whole industry moves forward. We can all get the ‘basic’ shared care record done and move onto other things that will benefit the system, clinicians and patients.”
The PRSB helps to develop and implement standards for the structure and content of health and social care records and is looking to become the “authoritative voice” on what constitutes a high-quality electronic record.
It set up the partnership scheme earlier this year, to create an alliance with the health and tech sector and to recognise vendors committed to best practice.
Companies can join at two levels: as a partner, to demonstrate their commitment to standards; and as a quality partner, to demonstrate that they are meeting one or more standards.
Lorraine Foley, chief executive of the PRSB, said she was delighted to have Orion Health on board. “The intention of our partnership scheme is to move everybody forward by getting the standards that we have developed adopted and used,” she said.
“At the heart of being a quality partner is an assessment of compliance with one or more standards and Orion Health has agreed to become an early adopter of the ‘core information standard’, which underpins shared care records.
“It is different from some of the standards we have developed, because it is a collection of data items that can be used at many points in the patient journey, so the question of whether it has been met or not is going to be nuanced.
“We will work with Orion Health and others to come up with a sensible assessment process that will deliver meaningful results.”
The PRSB and Orion Health are keen for more suppliers to join the partnership scheme. Foley said vendors welcomed the opportunity to work with its experts and clinical teams on standards specifications, while the PRSB benefited from input on how the standards could be adapted to work better in practice.
However, the PRSB is also looking at how it can include NHS providers, to create a “gravitational pull” for making open standards a requirement in systems procurements and deployments.
“What we want is the PRSB, vendors, and providers all pulling in the same direction, to create better records that will support more efficient, better care,” she said.
Carey-Whitehead agreed – and argued that the development and deployment of open standards will be particularly important as the NHS looks to adopt new digital ways of working as it repairs and resets after the pandemic.
“COVID-19 highlighted not just the necessity for, but also the benefits of a shared care record. It taught us that we need to do things differently, but we need to do them in a standardised way.”