June 12, 2018
REN, the foundation that facilitates data exchange between the care institutes in the Dutch West-Brabant region, recently put Forcare's eTransfer solution into operation. This electronic transfer system is an important step in increasing the efficiency of patient transfers from hospital to nursing homes, residential care homes and home care agencies (long-term care). Until now these transfers – hundreds of patients per month – were handled mainly by telephone or email. Bravis hospital, together with the regional long-term care institutes Stichting Groenhuysen, Stichting Surplus Zorg, Stichting tanteLouise and Stichting Thuiszorg West-Brabant, is one of the first healthcare institutions in the Netherlands to digitise this process.
When the treatment of a patient in the hospital has been completed but further convalescence care is needed, home care is called in or the patient is admitted to a nursing home or residential care home. When arranging for the care, the hospital's transfer nurse often lost much time phoning and emailing other institutes. By using eTransfer, the process of applying and assigning aftercare is sped up and made more efficient.
Together with the patient and their relatives, the transfer nurse in Bravis hospital lists which care the patient will need after their discharge from hospital. This will show which institute can offer the desired aftercare, and which institute the patient prefers. Instead of calling, the transfer nurse now accesses the eTransfer portal and enters the application. The long-term care institute sees the application and accepts it for processing. The required information about the patient only is transferred after acceptance and is directly included in the patient file at the long-term care institute. In case of rejection the other long-term care institutes may respond to the application.
This type of electronic transfer has many advantages. It saves much time as no calls have to be made and the sharing of patient information is automated (or runs automatically). Furthermore, an application can be made simultaneously at several institutes and its status can be viewed per application, such as 'processing', 'accepted' or 'rejected'. Previously this would have required a phone call or an email. A third advantage is that no retyping of patient information is needed, thanks to the IT integrations. Finally, it is an advantage that the information about the patient only enters the long-term care institute's system after final approval of the application. Until then the information is only visible in the portal. Such careful handling of patient information fully complies with the GDPR, which entered into force on 25 May 2018.
REN (Regional Electronic Network West-Brabant) has put Forcare's eTransfer functionality into operation after careful selection and implementation. The solution makes use of international standards for the exchange of data, such as XDS and XDW. Unique in the use of the functionality is that information is sent from the hospital's electronic medical records (HiX by Chipsoft) to the electronic health records of the affiliated long-term care institutes (Ons by Nedap and mijnCaress by PinkRoccade).
Bravis hospital and the four largest long-term care institutes in the West-Brabant region started this project a year ago, with the aim to digitise the application and assignment process. And successfully: already dozens of patients have been helped with their aftercare needs through the eTransfer portal. Future developments are now being worked on, such as single sign-on, inclusion of the nurse's reports from HiX, a management information tool and linking up with other care institutes in the area.