NHS Mental Health Clustering Tool And Decision Support

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The Project Brief

The Care Pathways and Packages Project (CPPP) is a consortium of organisations in the Yorkshire and Humber and North East SHA areas who are working together to develop National Currencies and Local Tariffs for Mental Health. This bespoke software was developed at the request of the NHS Mental Health Trusts in consultation with the CPPP.

Payment by results (PbR) is a model for delivering public services where providers are paid for the outcomes they achieve rather than the activities they deliver. Under the Mental Health PbR, individual NHS Trusts need to demonstrate their effectiveness in assessing, responding to and reviewing each individual patient's clinical mental health needs.

Our client needed a tool which not only collected and recorded data, but also analysed it and provided clinicians with feedback vital to maintain consistency and accuracy of cluster allocation and therefore, accurate costing of interventions. The tool developed had to not only provide a workable mental health currency under PbR, but one that was also clinically meaningful.

They came to StyleTech for a solution.

Our Solution

StyleTech worked to strict MHCT guidelines to create a bespoke system and algorithm which is used by clinicians to efficiently and effectively assess the needs of a patient and to record each step through the care pathway enabling traceability on every individual’s case.

The system incorporates items from the Health of the Nations Outcome Scales (HoNOS) and the Summary of Assessments of Risk and Need (SARN) in order to provide all the information necessary to allocate individuals to clusters.

A key consideration throughout the development process was to ensure the MHCT could be reliably and efficiently adapted to meet the varied needs of each Mental Health NHS Trust IT environment, providing seamless integration into a variety of secure and existing IT environments whilst ensuring that security of the information was a priority.

Whilst working in close collaboration with CPPP, the team identified other areas where the software could enhance the characteristics of MHCT to provide a variety of unique characteristics in comparison to existing methods and in addition to the national requirements.

A unique characteristic of the software was that it encourages a ‘train-the-trainer' approach to the training of clinicians and case-load managers in electronic patient record keeping. This benefit is due to the simplicity in design accompanied by the valuable clinician input throughout the development process, ensuring built-in system intelligence guides the clinician at every possible opportunity. Taking the learning path of a clinician from A to B quickly and efficiently is a value-added benefit.

The software encourages enhanced efficiencies, enabling clinicians' access to proven, reliable technology, developed to assist them with their demanding daily assessment responsibilities.

These additions are:

  • Suggestions of Care Clusters, assisting clinicians with intelligent cluster allocation recommendations, based on algorithms developed by CPPP.
  • Comparison of current level of need to agreed Step Up / Discharge / Step Down criteria, enabling a patient's record to be adjusted accordingly dependent on assessment outcomes with intelligent pathway allocation.
  • Intelligent identification and flagging of vulnerabilities.

The Results

The software has enhanced the efficiency and accuracy of data collected by Mental Health Teams, offering seamless integration whilst embracing new technologies and algorithms, allowing each Mental Health NHS Trust to concentrate on what they do best.

The software assists with the comprehensive assessment and decision-making process, providing efficient collation of data into the required national reporting format.

Going forward the bespoke development has ensured updates to the software can be carried out, resulting in seamless integration with existing patient administration systems.

It has brought significant benefits, helping tackle the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) challenges in Mental Healthcare. Accurate classification of patients is a fundamental part of this process.

Web App
Web App
A web-based application assisted clinicians with intelligent cluster allocation recommendations.
The data collected from the application is used to further improve the algorithm.
Algorithm Implementation
Each version of the CPPP algorithm is integrated into the bespoke software development.
Software Integration
Patient information is obtained from third-party Patient Administration Systems (PAS).
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