GP with a patient

An upgrade to the CHIE paves the way for virtual care

The Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE), the UK's oldest and largest shared care record, has been developed to improve its functionality between service users.

Preeti Sharma Mehta, SCW Senior Project Manager for Digital Transformation, and Katharine Guthrie, SCW Stakeholder Engagement & Benefits Manager, answer questions about the new CHIE platform and what this means for the development of virtual care and user involvement.

How does CHIE aim to improve virtual care between patients and providers?

The Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE) is a secure web-based system that shares health and social care information from GP surgeries, hospitals, community and mental health, social services and others. CHIE helps professionals across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas provide safer and faster treatment for patients by making information accessible even when most of them had to work from home. For more information visit our website.

How will CHIE’s new platform improve its functionality?

After months of hard work by all stakeholder organisations, software suppliers and SCW colleagues, the move to the new CHIE system is almost upon us! This month, the CHIE and Orion teams are working to finalise the product ready for end-user access.

Access to the new system will be rolled out to users in a phased approach beginning on 24 February.

From 24 February through to 9 March there will be a transition of users from the current CHIE product to the new CHIE. This will ensure system continuity and availability to users during the switchover.

The new platform has better search, sort and filter functionality, a medication viewer and the ability to see trends of routine results on a graph. CHIE is an evolving system and more functionalities, richer data feeds are planned for future releases. 

How have you worked with users to improve the system?

And who, in terms of users, has been involved in this development?

CHIE is an ever-evolving system. From its inception in 2003, end-user feedback has been a key contributor to the development of the UK’s oldest and biggest shared care record. Various communication channels and engagement mediums (e.g. newsletters, information websites, user feedback surveys and focus groups) were employed by the CHIE team’s Stakeholder Engagement and Benefits Manager, Katharine Guthrie, to ensure maximum user involvement.

The CCIOs and CIOs of all the major HIOW health and care organisations have a seat on both the CHIE programme board and the STP digital board and use these forums as a way to the feedback user experience from their clinical and social care colleagues. The feedback received is then analysed and any required changes or updates are made to the system or added to the future development road map. In addition to this, the CHIE Clinical Lead, GP Dr Emma Davis chairs a CHIE Champions group who also provide invaluable feedback around the suitability of the system in real-life situations.

During the recent major programme to move CHIE to a new software platform, a Design Authority group including end-users was established to ensure that all the different needs of the various partner organisations were being given equal consideration. Moving forward, the Design Authority will be responsible for evaluating all suggested changes and updates and highlighting future requirements. 

How have initial users of the new system reacted? 

What’s been their feedback?  What are the biggest changes/improvements?

Initial feedback has been positive with quite a few improvements highlighted by the end-users. In particular, the new search, sort, filter, graphs and medicine viewer functionality are being recognised as really positive enhancements. 

What steps can be taken to ensure virtual care is inclusive for all patients, for physical and mental health? 

Having access to clinically relevant and up to date information from multiple sources in one place is a key requirement to support the provision of virtual care. We need to make access to information straightforward and fast for all end-users. A system like CHIE aims to do just that.

We need to have systems that can be continuously adapted to the needs of end-users and patients, remembering of course, that no one size fits all. Shared care records like CHIE help to provide assurance to patients that their full medical record will be available to their care providers when they need it. 

What do you feel is the future for virtual care and CHIE's role in this?

CHIE is a tool that helps to make virtual care possible by providing the right information at the right time to the right person. CHIE ensures that the patients only have to tell their story once. 

Access to CHIE helps reduce delays to treatment, by, for example, reducing the need to repeat blood tests. Access to CHIE ensures that the doctors, nurses and other HCPs involved in a patient’s care know about their medical history including alerts about allergies and other key pieces of data.  

Want to know more?

For more information about CHIE, and to find others' perspectives on digital healthcare and what this means for service users and patients, watch our event with The King's Fund that took place on 10 March. Preeti and a panel of experts shared their experience of 'Patient and user engagement in the delivery of virtual care.'