ChallengeNECS was commissioned by NHS England & Improvement (NHS E&I) to develop a replacement to the existing Specialised Mental Health Case Management System, which had been in place for nearly 10 years.
The System was used by Specialised Mental Health Case Managers to understand the availability of bed capacity, occupancy and contract monitoring supporting finance reporting. The new request was to improve the data quality for reporting and to update the System in line with emergence of Provider Collaboratives. NHS Provider Collaboratives have changed the way mental health services are commissioned and ensure that patients receive high quality specialist care as close to home as appropriately possible, whilst creating efficiencies and improving the quality of care available.
NECS had to deliver a dynamic product retaining the key aspects of the previous system, whilst better reflecting the new ways in which Case Managers work across multiple providers and locations.
The following key design requirements were identified:
• Enhancing the user experience
• Making key patient care information accessible in a single view
• Streamlining access to patient records
• Improving data quality, allowing data to be used for national reporting and planning
• Ensuring future system requirements can be developed with minimal disruption
• Enabling new users to access the system with minimal instruction
NECS adopted an agile approach to planning and delivering the system. A customer centric focus was taken due to the number of stakeholders involved. A range of potential features were considered to ensure all identified requirements were met. NECS consulted with NHS England as the key stakeholder at regular intervals to support continuous delivery and to achieve key target milestones.
As stakeholders were from a range of backgrounds, NECS had to ensure reports contained minimal technical language and were provided in accessible formats. This collaborative approach also required NECS to manage relationships with a variety of key users across a range of organisations across England. NECS ensured that timely updates were provided to the appropriate level of detail for all stakeholders. As data was onboarded from a variety of sources, NECS developed a robust process to optimise the data flows, ensuring the previous work undertaken by the customer was used effectively.
Just logged in and wanted to provide some instant feedback – seamless to log in and dashboard on first viewing is highly relevant and helpful wearing my PC/LP hats. Sure, there will be lots of questions but really appreciate all the efforts, unseen hard work and what appears to be a really well-informed end user experience in how the system has been redesigned.
Chris Knight, Programme Director, South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Provider Collaborative
NCMS for Specialised Mental Health was successfully implemented by NECS in April 2020. NECS configured NCMS to support single user accounts across multiple geographies, aligning with the new collaborative ways of working. As a result, NCMS offers increased quality reporting capability at a local and national level, whilst being flexible to future NHS strategic decisions. NHSE E&I also confirmed that data quality has significantly improved, with reporting and analysis becoming much more reliable.
NCMS is constructed in a modular structure with a much-reduced list of user roles, minimising maintenance requirements. This provides a comprehensive user interface design, of which a key feature is the Customer Relationship Manager type. This provides a view of all key patient information accessible from a single display, with minimal navigation needed to access the system meaning new users can be onboarded with minimal instruction.
Download a pdf of the case study here: NECS NCMS Case Study