How the GM Care Record is advancing equitable access to care for people with kidney disease

kidney dialysis renal injection nurse patient hospital

In this blog, Jim Ritchie, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Health Innovation Manchester and Consultant Renal Physician at Salford Royal, explores how the GM Care Record is reducing inequalities in health and care for people with kidney disease in Greater Manchester.

The focus of World Kidney Day 2024 is how we can advance equitable access to care and optimal medications for all. Addressing this challenge is complex, requiring political will, professional development and empowered patients. Effective use of health technologies, such as the GM Care Record can be a powerful enabler of change in all these areas.

Accessibility of information

Within Greater Manchester, the GM Care Record supports all clinical teams involved in the management of kidney disease. Specialist hospital teams benefit from secure access to up-to-date blood results, prescribing information and measurements of blood pressures.

This enables faster, more accurate decision making and avoids the need for patients to have unnecessary repeat tests. The shared nature of the GM Care Record means that other key services such as primary care and community pharmacy have access to the same information. This allows shared care for patients with all stages of kidney disease including safe prescribing as their kidney function changes. By ensuring healthcare teams have access to the same secure and trusted information, the GM Care Record helps build a record around the person receiving care.

Treating people, not managing diseases

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) commonly have several other long term health conditions. As the GM Care Record focuses on bringing information together around the person, not the service, this allows treating clinicians to better understand the complexity of the person they are caring for. This helps deliver more holistic, patient centred care, where several conditions can be managed through a single service such as the complex cardio-renal and diabetes-renal clinics at Salford Care Organisation.

Using shared information to better organise our services around the needs of the patient reduces the number of appointments needed and improves the patient experience.

Empowering patients

As the GM Care Record matures, as does our ability to empower patients to contribute to their own care. The recent pilot launch of the GMCR Patient Held Record app in Tameside is helping patients see key clinical information, and more excitingly, helps them share information with their care teams.

Being able to add blood pressure readings into the GM Care Record is supporting specialist teams better manage patients and allowing them to optimise treatments without the need to bring patients for additional hospital visits.

Improving the health of the population

Anonymised use of data from the GM Care Record has allowed a more detailed understanding of kidney health over Greater Manchester. Secure use of data in this way is helping the North West Kidney Network to better understand how to reshape services to better protect kidney health across the city. This includes improving access to the latest treatments, broadening participation in clinical research, and directly addressing healthcare inequalities.

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