What is Connect?

At The Royal Marsden, we’re currently taking part in a transformation programme to greatly enhance our technology at the Trust. The digital health record programme, called Connect, will improve working practices at the Trust, and the experience of all of our patients.

Connect will use Epic software to replace our current patient records with a suite of clinical systems that provide an accurate, real-time view of patient information and allow us to capture clinical information at the point of care. It will be accessible across all hospital sites and remotely.

It is one of the most ambitious programmes of work we’ve ever taken on.

This new system will be launched at the Trust in March 2023.

Connect will transform the way that patients can engage with our services and experience their care. It will offer a variety of ways for patients to receive information, contribute to care records, interact with clinicians, and contribute to research – all from their own mobile devices or personal PCs.

Utilising the new Connect components such as the Patient Portal will mean that staff are better informed about patient preferences and that both patients and their carers will be able to actively participate in the management and planning of care with us.

Overall, Connect will support the delivery of safe, high-quality healthcare for our patients.

What you need to know

Partnering with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)

As part of our Connect programme of work, we’re delighted that we will be partnering with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who implemented a similar system in 2019. This partnership will bring substantial benefits to both Trusts, including the opportunity to harness the digital excellence, technologies and learning that GOSH has achieved through its own implementation. Collaboration also allows both organisations to share resources and expertise to best develop the platform. We can achieve far more together than we can alone.

Sharing information

Although we are in partnership with GOSH, we want to reassure all patients that there will be access controls put in place on Connect. This means that Royal Marsden staff can only access Royal Marsden patients’ information, and GOSH staff can only access GOSH patients’ information. Where our patients are involved in shared care between the two Trusts, clinicians at both sites will have access to all data that is relevant to their care.

The benefits of the new system

There are a huge number of benefits to the Connect system, and overall, they fall into three key themes: enhancing patient safety, improving efficiencies, and data quality.

Ultimately, more efficient ways of working will free up more time for clinicians to spend with their patients.

The Patient Portal and opting out

The Patient Portal brings with it a wealth of benefits for our patients, and we will be going to great efforts to support all patients who want to access it to do so. However, we know that digital technology isn’t for everyone. If you don’t want to use the Patient Portal to access your appointment or clinical information, there will still be other options available for you - including the patient letters that we currently send through the post.

Next steps

Connect will be launching in March 2023. Until then, we are busy building a system that is user-centred and fit for purpose. To do this we intend to engage both staff and patients through all stages of the design, build and implementation. Watch this space for more information.

How do I get in touch?

For any enquiries on the Connect programme, please contact ConnectDHR@rmh.nhs.uk