Making interoperability a reality at Servelec's 2018 Rio conexathon

With aspirations of being the most customer-focused, interoperable vendor in health, social care and education, Servelec has launched the new Conexes cloud-based interoperability platform.

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Servelec’s Rio Conexathon took place on Wednesday 12th September at the Hilton Hotel, Sheffield. The two-day event saw 30 people from 12 NHS Trust technical teams take part from around the country. Excited to work directly with the Servelec product team, the NHS colleagues made use of the Rio Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) provided via Servelec’s Conexes platform, showcasing how the platform works and how it can be used to solve real world integration problems now.

The goal of the event was to make interoperability a reality. The vision – to deliver patient-focussed, integrated care. Mike Jervis, Chief Architect at Servelec said, “The Conexathon was another great opportunity to work directly with NHS developers to understand what their challenges are in their organisations.”

The event started with an overview of the Conexes platform from Mike, who presented a technical view of the platforms capabilities and a roadmap. The problem solving then began for the developers who had the unique opportunity to push the capabilities of the new platform to see what could be possible.

Each organisation brought their own agenda; some wanted to see what was possible and others had specific use cases they wanted to prototype, to show the value of the platform to their organisation. In just two days of development time, teams were able to create solutions to real problems trusts face individually, each solution tailored to specific use cases. An example of this was Merseyside NHS Trust, who looked at how they could use the APIs to consolidate information from third party systems to feed Discharge Summaries.

Catherine Diaz, Development Service Team Manager explained: “As the ‘to take out’ (TTO) medications are entered on a separate pharmacy system, these currently have to be manually entered into a form on Rio so that they can be included in the discharge summary. Using the ‘add form call’, we will be able to insert patients’ medications and allergies from the pharmacy system directly into the form on Rio. This will allow the complete discharge summary to be viewed and verified on Rio before being sent to GPs. Without this API, the medication would have to continue to be manually entered.”

Catherine went on to say, “it was a great opportunity to explore the capabilities of the APIs available and get some technical working solutions to real life problems”.

This example alone highlighted the efficiencies that can be made using the Conexes platform through interoperability and collaborative working.

Day Two

Day two provided teams with the opportunity to be creative, testing and pushing the boundaries of what was achievable through Conexes and what could be built rapidly through Servelec-developed APIs. First and second place prizes were awarded for the best solution built during the Conexathon, as voted by the delegates themselves.  

Congratulations go to and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust who won first and second prize for their chat bot app and phlebotomy clinic app respectively.

Ben Scorer, Systems Development Manager at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust said, We decided to develop a chat bot type application to return data from Rio. This could be extended to use speech to retrieve and even add information to Rio. We plan to embed this into Microsoft Teams as a really light weight and very fast way for clinicians to get data from Rio.

 “We really enjoyed the Conexathon and it has fast tracked our development skills in consuming these APIs.  This means we are in a position to make use of them from day one. It was great having the technical staff from Servelec in the room that were able to answer and solve any technical issues we were having.”

Mike Jervis went on to explain the value it brings to the general public: “The barrier to wider interoperability is not technology. The Rio Conexathon proved again that if you have the right people, who have a will to work together, they can break down any technical challenge rapidly through collaboration.

“This event has proven that the Servelec Conexes platform will rapidly enable trusts with direct access to APIs; it can be used to drive real benefit to organisations, end users and most importantly patient care. “Efficiencies can be made, costs can reduced and most importantly, Conexes and service users can benefit from a unique, forward-thinking approach to interoperable digital care. “

2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Deputy Director of I.T. Rob Blagden closed by saying, “The Conexathon was a great event and gave good insight into how to use the Conexes API platform. The NHS needs interoperability between systems and Conexes is the first fully supported API platform from a system vendor I’ve seen, so that puts Servelec ahead of others as a leader in this space which will be critical to the NHS moving forward”.