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As a technical partner, our goal is simple: we want to provide patients with continuity of care and ultimately better outcomes.

The way we achieve this is by ensuring the organisations we partner with have a digital structure in place that facilitates the sharing of patient data, such as discharge and clinic attendance documents.

A transfer of care occurs when one physician passes on the duty of care for a patient to another physician. It may be a permanent or for a temporary amount of time until a patient’s condition improves – but what’s vital is that both physicians have access to the most up-to-date records for this patient.

Transfer of Care APIs integration enables documents to be sent between secondary and primary care locations, which ensures disparate systems used across different sites have a single point of truth that they can refer to and patient care doesn’t suffer as a result.

The benefits of Transfer of Care APIs integration

  • Enhanced patient care: because physicians have access to accurate digital care records as and when they need them, patients will benefit from an improved level of care. Having access to the correct information for each patient will result in less erroneous care decisions being made and medical solutions being found far quicker.
  • Standardised procedure: by following a set procedure on how correspondence is handled from creation to how it is processed, it means staff will be more aware of anomalies that could pose a threat to patients and there is a greater sense of accountability.
  • Improved productivity: ultimately, the biggest benefit of having a fully-integrated network where disparate systems can communicate freely and exchange and receive information seamlessly is the time that will be saved. Staff in healthcare facilities will be freed up from tedious administrative processes and tasks to focus on administering the best care possible.

The formation of Transfer of Care APIs

Transfer of Care APIs consist of five separate components that work in conjunction with each other:

Clinical layer 

In order to achieve a fully functioning and integrated system that works seamlessly between services, professional standards for digital care records must be upheld. These standards have been formalised in collaboration with clinicians and other healthcare professionals, providing a framework to follow for things such as inpatient and daycase discharge, emergency care discharge and outpatient letters.

Terminology layer 

As all NHS healthcare providers in England are contractually obliged to use SNOMED CT, Transfer of Care structured messages have the capability to include encoded information. Where this capability does not exist, organisations must show they have plans in place to achieve capability at the earliest possible opportunity.

Technology layer 

As FHIR is the international industry standard for integration, it has been adopted for Transfer of Care rather than migrating in the future, which would increase clinical risk and the cost of delay.

Transport layer 

MESH allows organisations to transfer data files securely via the NHS Spine infrastructure, and strictly prohibits other forms of electronic transport approaches being used, such as fax or email for Transport of Care message types.

Message layer

ITK3 provides the message distribution and application-level acknowledgement standard for Transfer of Care. To reduce the workload of staff at GP practices, application-level responses are automatically generated, and staff in secondary care settings must handle these responses and notify staff where necessary.

The scope of Transfer of Care currently covers the following items:

  • Inpatient and Day Case Discharge Summary Document – generally sent between an acute hospital and a GP practice.
  • Emergency Care Discharge Summary Document – generally sent between an emergency care department and a GP practice.
  • Inpatient and Day Case Discharge Summary (Mental Health) Document – a mental health discharge summary shared with a GP practice.
  • Outpatient Clinic Letter Document – information shared between a hospital clinic and a GP practice post-consultation.

Testimonials

We’ve enjoyed working with 6B immensely over the past few years to launch and further develop the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust website.

“From the initial discovery phase through to planning and delivery, the project has been a success, and we’ve continued to work with the team to enhance, maintain and improve the platform through regular discussions and planned maintenance.”

Natalie Lee, Web & Digital Design Communications Officer, Somerset NHS

Seamless integration solutions

 

We’re adept at delivering stable, secure and scalable integrations for organisations throughout the healthcare sector, saving them valuable time so they can focus on what matters most: patients.

 

We’re skilled in what we do and can’t wait to support you on your next Transfer of Care APIs project – but don’t just take our word for it, hear what some of our clients have to say…

See our work

More on our Healthcare services

Healthcare integration projects are our bread and butter at 6B. We have the practical experience and technical expertise to develop reliable and secure integration solutions that clinical staff and the patients they care for can depend on. You can discover more about our specific healthcare services below...

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