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6PM to name new client for HIV product before Christmas

6PM deputy chief executive Steve Wightman says the company’s integrated records management solution could save the NHS up to £100 million. Photo: Jason Borg

6PM deputy chief executive Steve Wightman says the company’s integrated records management solution could save the NHS up to £100 million. Photo: Jason Borg

6PM is to sign a new contract for its recently launched HIV product before Christmas, according to the Naxxar-based IT company’s deputy chief executive Steve Wightman.

HIV clinic in a box

Meanwhile, more than 20 UK trusts are examining the potential of implementing the HIV patient records system developed by 6PM and deployed at the North Middlesex University Hospital.

Care Solutions Climate-HIV is a joint venture between 6PM plc and North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. The product is a development by a 6PM team on a Microsoft-based system created by HIV and infectious diseases consultant Achim Schwenk in 2005. It exemplifies the North Middlesex hospital’s culture of adopting innovative approaches to patient experience. The project was funded by the NHS London Specialised Commissioning Group and five pharmaceutical groups, which donated funds without influence.

HIV patients require a range of tests and can suffer from many complications. Dr Schwenk has praised the system for giving doctors patient records and treatment information at their fingertips and allowing them to dedicate more time to patients and to assess their medical situation more efficiently.

“Climate-HIV has been described as an HIV clinic in a box,” Mr Wightman told TheSunday Times. “It has also been certified to be compliant with new HIV reporting dataset standard HARS. It has been very well received by hospital clinicians and it could interest trusts across the UK as a national solution, particularly as it could help to meet health economics objectives.

“HIV treatment costs the UK government £680 million a year. The drugs alone can cost up to £250,000 per patient. HIV-Climate is intended to bring cost-efficiencies to care providers.”

Designed as a product, HIV-Climate is a flexible data warehousing tool which can be adapted to handle information related to other conditions.

Mr Wightman explained that HIV treatment – and the challenges doctors face – are the same across the world. It is one of the reasons HIV-Climate was well-received at the recent Glasgow 2012 HIV Congress.

Encouraged by the feedback, 6PM is to evaluate the most appropriate route to market and ways to address localisation issues like language and regulation. At the conference, Climate-HIV caught the attention of consultants and medical representatives operating in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Canada, and North Africa.

“6PM has the ideal positioning to market a product like Climate-HIV because it is the right size company to address the specific requirements of UK trusts, for example, without having to charge the premium rates associated with IT corporations. We are able to help the clients’ consultants and financial teams meet theirobjectives.”

Mr Wightman described Climate-HIV as a “very strategic” product in the company’s growing portfolio. 6PM, which is back on track after being impacted by cost-cutting across the NHS – its foremost international customer – in the economic downturn, will next year boast its “best ever product set”.

6PM’s portfolio next year will include Stroke Pad, a tablet-based solution developed with consultants at University College London Hospital, a human resources management solution, and an integrated records management system which has already gone live at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust to considerable acclaim.

Based on radio identification frequency technology, the IRM solution involves fitting electronic tags on patients’ records to increase efficient traceability. The solution’s implementation immediately resulted in a 23 per cent reduction in staff required to scour stores for files requested by doctors. Its achievements were lauded in the trust’s Health ServicesJournal.

“If similar efforts were made across the acute sector, where some hospitals spend £1.5 million on records services alone, £50 million to £100 million of saving could be achievable,” Mr Wightman told the HSJ.

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