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Interoperability and information sharing

Data is crucially important for any research or innovation project. Access to data is vital not only to inform and steer improvement projects but also to demonstrate a project’s value in terms of patient outcomes. It can allow a clinician to view the pathway a patient has followed and any information which may assist in forming a diagnosis and course of action for them.

In maternity services, it is common for a woman to be seen at multiple sites for opinions on problems with the pregnancy (usually picked up on ultrasound scans). This can lead to issues with their continuity of care, missing records as well as ineffective and inefficient use of patient and clinician time.

To improve this service, the Oxford AHSN Maternity Clinical Network has worked with partner trusts to establish a connected ultrasound system, allowing clinicians to offer advice remotely with the most up-to-date information on the pregnancy and the patient.

Going forward, the Network is scoping how to evolve this system into a network-wide data collection system for use in service audit and improvement as well as research at local and regional level. This will directly feed into a joint venture with the Thames Valley Children’s and Maternity Strategic Clinical Network – the development of a region-wide ‘maternity dashboard’.

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