mental-health-pr-imageLondon, UK – March 19th, 2012 – Healthcare technology specialist Kainos has highlighted the direct relevance of its Evolve® next-generation electronic medical record (EMR) solution to the mental health sector, particularly as it moves towards closer integration across its diverse services.

Based on optimised electronic document capture and intelligent content linking, and supporting real-time remote and mobile data access and input, Kainos Evolve offers to transform the quality of service provided to patients at the point of care – whether delivered in hospital at a GP practice or out in the community.

In addition to sharing many of the issues facing Acute healthcare operations, mental health services have their own unique challenges. A large proportion of services are delivered in the community for example, amplifying the content consolidation issue. Also, because taboos persist around mental health, there are special security requirements.

Mental health case notes present their own issues too, given that a significant element of diagnoses, treatment and on-going monitoring of patients comes from talking-based sessions, producing descriptive notes. This content needs to be combined with other case notes, including records of prescribed medication.

Last month, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health welcomed the NHS Future Forum’s call for Health and Wellbeing Boards to become the ‘crucible of health and social care integration’, but warned that “We need to do much more to nurture integration in all its forms and to get best value from a range of public services which too often duplicate effort or leave gaps into which the most vulnerable people fall.” He noted that this would require co-operation not only between health and social care services but also with housing and employment services, the police and schools.

An EMR system allows patient records to be consolidated in a single place where they can be readily accessed by any authorised administrator or consultant, marking an end to the “information black hole”, according to Deirdre O’Neill, head of Evolve Healthcare at Kainos

Commenting on the opportunity to transform mental health services through integrated, intelligent electronic records, she said, “Accurate and complete central record-keeping, and consistent, secure information-sharing, will be a vital component of any strategy to deepen this integration and deliver better, more holistic and efficient patient care. Kainos Evolve has unique capabilities in this area which, coupled with Kainos’s extensive experience of managing complex integration projects and EMR deployments across the healthcare sector, makes us ideally positioned to address these challenges.”