This article is part of our educational series, highlighting developments in healthcare for market researchers looking to keep up to date with the latest developments.
One software developer that plays a significant role in today’s healthcare industry, but which isn’t always acknowledged for its importance, is Blueteq.
The organisation was established in 2005, and its IT solutions are not solely geared to the medical field. However, it is especially well-known for its Individual Funding Request (IFR) suite, as well as other applications that see use across both public and private-sector healthcare.
An introduction to Blueteq’s industry-leading High Cost Drug systems
Where the Blueteq high cost drug (HCD) management system is in use, doctors are required to complete a Blueteq form for any patient who is prescribed a high cost drug.
This, in turn, enables Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to monitor the use of expensive treatment, so that only treatments prescribed in line with local policy and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines are reimbursed.
This places a particular onus on the doctor to always make the right decision, given that otherwise, it is the hospital that would be required to pay for these drugs.
Blueteq’s software is standardising the process by which high cost treatments are reimbursed, while reducing variance. The Blueteq solution also records multiple data sets such as baseline demographics and clinical characteristics of patients that can be analysed to show an individual’s treatment history. All information and documentation in relation to a particular patient’s history can be displayed in one place, on a single screen.
Outlining the systems Blueteq presently provides
Access to Blueteq’s Standard Trust HCD IFR System is included with all Commissioner system licences. This enables the Commissioner’s local Hospital Trusts – as well as, in the case of Individual Funding Requests, local GP practices – to log requests for their patient’s treatments.
This National Provider system is an intelligent application that ensures the request is sent to the appropriate commissioner, in line with the patient’s registered practice and the form chosen.
A wide range of commissioners use this particular system, including more than 90 CCGs and NHS England. Indeed, the system is provided to all Trusts and GP practices free of charge or contract.
Much more important, however, is the system’s ease of use and rapid delivery of results; it’s a quick process to put in a request, automatic approval is often granted, and the system retains request history, including all correspondence.
An extended version of the Trust HCD IFR System also exists, however, aimed at Trusts that require greater control over how their High Cost Drugs and IFR budgets are managed. In a study by Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, improved implementation of Blueteq led to improved speed of access for patients, improved awareness of NICE Technology Appraisals and the processing of the historic backlog of 1,600 patients.
This variant gives hospitals all of the benefits of the standard system, but also many of the features enjoyed by CCGs. Its perks range from a custom reporting engine and invoice checking to the recording of all drug requests, even those for non-Blueteq client commissioners.
Finally, the Commissioner High Cost Drugs System is invaluable for commissioners looking to exercise control over their Payment By Results Excluded (PBRE) HCD budget.
This application enables commissioners to collect NICE criteria led evidence directly from Provider Clinicians, keep a complete audit trail of the process, and use Auto-Approval to give clinicians the approval to treat immediately. It also tracks requests from their inception from clinicians, right through approval to final invoice matching, and makes available a full range of reports on demand.
These are just some of the ways in which Blueteq software continues to serve the best interests of healthcare practitioners and organisations.
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