Black Pear Software, a Worcestershire-based healthcare informatics company, recently secured a contract to provide the Worcestershire Well Connected Programme with a new innovative integrated solution to support palliative care in Worcestershire.
The solution will enable for the first time genuine integration of health and care agencies, allowing health care professionals to provide patients in palliative care with the best possible care in accordance with their wishes.
Terminally ill patients depend on End of Life care plans to enable them to live well until the end of life and enable their wishes to be fulfilled. These plans rely on many professional groups from a variety of organisations across care sectors, having to work together. Currently patients’ preferences are kept in a range of different mediums across multiple organisations and are not always available at the required time, often resulting in a distressed family member having to supply this information. Black Pear Software seeks to simplify this and bring End Of Life care into the digital age.
Black Pear will utilise a variety of its unique software frameworks to power an Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination System (EPaCCS), which will be implemented in accordance with the National Information Standard ISB 1580, “End of Life Care-Coordination, Implementation Guidance” issued by Primary Health England (PHE) and NHS Improving Quality (NHSIQ).
The final product will provide the ability for all relevant health and care agencies, from GPs to West Midlands Ambulance Service to Acute Hospitals, creating, viewing and updating one simple, digital End Of Life care plan with no double entry of data. Guided and controlled workflows will assist health care professionals in making the right decisions and all patient care contacts will automatically be messaged back to the GP record.
Dr David Jehring, former GP and CEO of Black Pear says,
“We hope this will go some way to alleviate the anguish on patients’ close family at such an emotionally difficult time, preventing ill-informed decisions and reducing the burden on loved ones.”
The versatile nature of Black Pear’s foundational software frameworks, utilised in EPaCCS, means the Worcestershire Well Connected Programme’s wider goal to better integrate health and care is also being met. Black Pear’s EPaCCS demonstrates how digital technology can get multiple organisations to interact with each other in near-real time, simply and effectively.
On this foundation, the Worcestershire Well Connected Programme and its stakeholders can look to deploy a greater number of services in response to very specific patient needs from a variety of service providers. This could well be indicative of a solution to the destructive force of fragmentation sweeping across the NHS today.
About Worcestershire Well Connected Programme
The Well Connected programme brings together all the local NHS organisations (Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Groups), Worcestershire County Council and key representatives from the voluntary sector. Together they aim to better join up and co-ordinate health and care for people and support them to stay healthy, recover quickly following an illness and ensure that care and treatment is received in the most appropriate place. It is hoped this will lead to a reduction in avoidable hospital admissions and the length of time people who are admitted to hospital need to stay there.
The End of life and a Palliative Care stream of work has been running for some time in Worcestershire and through 15 separate projects has been successful in encouraging partnership working and communication between professionals, patients and their families with the result that the proportion of people dying in hospital has been decreased from over 45% to 37% in the last 4 years. This translates to over 400 more patients a year receiving a high quality of care that has enabled them to remain in their own homes.
About Black Pear Software
Black Pear Software was formed in 2009 by Dr David Jehring, a former GP. Alongside his team, the company has extensive knowledge of healthcare informatics and in the past have designed and developed the first Windows GP system, as well as implemented the first national data extraction and analysis system responsible for underpinning many national programs. Today, Black Pear continues to be at the forefront of health IT, designing systems that leverage interoperability and mobility to contribute to the next generation of healthcare computing.