Ardens is a clinical decision support and workflow optimisation solution that is currently deployed to over 2,100 EMIS Web GP practices in England, serving around 20 million patients. It is designed to help clinicians improve the quality and safety of consultations and includes standardised clinical templates, patient recall systems, cancer safety-netting resources, and advanced reporting.
Throughout COVID-19 practices have relied upon Ardens to build high quality resources that align with continually evolving NHS guidance. At the beginning of the UK outbreak, Ardens produced regular updates to customers, helping them to understand the guidance around identifying and managing clinically extremely vulnerable patients. These updates included carefully written communications, advanced searches, and clinical templates that enabled clinicians to quickly adapt to new ways of working whilst following national guidance.
Another key challenge the team at Ardens supported was the switch to remote working. Clinicians with minimal training in remote consulting were suddenly required to carry out complex consultations outside the practice environment, which presented high clinical risk. In response, Ardens developed resources to assist clinicians with this new way of working. For example, the Ardens paediatric remote consultation templates guide clinicians through how to safely conduct a remote consultation with children and young people, including guidance around what to ask and which patients may require referral or hospital admission. Wessex LMC recommended that all GP practices adopt these templates to use during remote consultations.
More recently, Ardens has focused on providing advanced COVID-19 vaccination resources that have enabled GP practices and PCNs to accurately plan clinics, create lists of patients to invite for vaccine, and understand performance at practice, PCN, and CCG level. Ardens Manager, their cloud-based analytics platform, offers aggregate reporting to help areas make rapid decisions around where to focus resources. The Ardens COVID-19 vaccination searches are relied upon to plan COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the population of the 20 million patients they serve. These searches are frequently updated - often several times a week as guidance changes. A recent update to these searches enables practices to follow latest NHS England guidance to identify BAME patients who have been invited for vaccine but not attended for an appointment. Practices can also risk-stratify individual cohorts, so that higher risk patients in each cohort can receive the vaccine first.
Outside of the pandemic, the Ardens solution has made a huge impact on ensuring early detection of health issues. With real-time monitoring taking place as clinical data is recorded into the patient record, Ardens supports decision-making to improve clinical outcomes – such as the early diagnosis of cancer. Whilst the priority and focus for the past 12 months has been on COVID-19, it’s also been essential to ensure clinicians also maintain a focus on other serious clinical conditions.