Health and social care integration

Overview

Socitm Advisory and Ordnance Survey have published a White Paper on the Role of Location Information in the Integration of Health and Social care services. The research, available to download from below, involved a range of in depth interviews with key opinion formers in health and social care bodies.

The report finds that location data is routinely present in virtually all of the United Kindgom's National Health Service (NHS) statutory data collections, although it may not always be recognised as such.  Generally such data includes the locations of the patient and the care providers. The White Paper looks at the role this location data plays in six key areas of integration across health and social care.

It examines how location data is used to improve the confidence level of record matches for integrated digital care records; it finds that information about where care is provided is important contextual information, particularly for Child Protection services, and it explores new schemes that link health risk information at the household level to target prevention interventions such as home safety inspections for slips trips and falls.

The report also examines the barriers to greater adoption, these include important considerations around information governance and patient confidentially as well as wider cultural contexts such as fragmentation of services.

The report concludes that throughout health and social care location-centric information has the potential to make a significant difference to the way health and social care services integrate. Integrated location information allows resources to be more effectively deployed to those most in need, while tracking the outcomes of that targeting, and supporting the development of new funding models.  There are obstacles to be overcome in embracing this new dimension to integrating health and social care but the potential benefits to be gained at a national level are too numerous to ignore.