Clinicians in Scotland now have easy access to clinical guidelines and validated decision support tools using the Right Decision Service (RDS), built on technology developed by Tactuum, an IT partner for organisations that want to deliver large-scale, complex digital projects to improve health and care. 

The RDS is a once-for-Scotland national project funded by the Scottish Government and run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. 

It supports or hosts clinical guidance and policy intranets, websites and apps developed by health boards and specialist services, using Tactuum’s Quris Clinical Companion software. 

It also holds a unique suite of UK Conformity Assessed decision support tools developed with InnoScot Health as registered manufacturer. 

Dr Ann Wales, programme lead for knowledge and decision support at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “The Scottish Government set an objective for the Right Decision Service to deliver a once-for-Scotland decision support platform: a single place that users could go to for national guidelines, local guidelines, pathways, calculators, risk scoring tools and other types of decision support. 

“Now, we have a single platform, with a single website, and a single app. We have a series of controls to ensure the quality of what is being shown to users, while clinicians can pick and choose what is relevant to them. 

“It’s all about providing quick and easy access to validated guidance with the aim of delivering more standardised, safer care in line with evidence-based practice.” 

Alongside national advice published by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS boards and partner organisations invest considerable time and effort in developing clinician guidance and decision support tools for their staff. 

However, these can often be held on paper or on intranets, from where they are hard to maintain and access. 

Tactuum’s Quris Clinical Companion has been developed to enable NHS health boards and trusts to manage the development, governance and publication of clinical guidance and policies and make tools available to clinicians when and where they need them. 

The Quris Clinical Companion offers templates to help governance leads and guideline or policy creators to develop action-focused content, which is exposed to clinicians through a website, their electronic patient record, or an app. 

The tools are available offline, so they can be used even when there is no internet access or in an emergency. 

Tactuum worked closely with clinicians in the United States and Scotland on the technology. 

Over a decade, the Scottish Government funded pilots and guideline websites and apps for health boards and national hospital services. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, 25 apps were in use in health and care services across the country, and the decision was made to consolidate them into the RDS single platform,
to provide a single, national service and a platform for further development. 

Mark Buchner, chief executive of Tactuum, said: “The wide range and variable quality of digital platforms and tools that healthcare professionals use to access information is a barrier to their use. 

“That can waste valuable time, frustrate busy clinical teams and negatively impact patient care. It’s exciting to see the RDS in use as a single resource for professionals across the whole country and available to more than 90,000 users. 

“Quris has also been able to reduce the number of systems health boards have been using into a single, joined-up collaborative platform. 

“We look forward to working with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre on further innovations that directly impact front-line staff and patient care. 

“We hope the success of Quris in the context of RDS, and its expanding capability to directly support individual patient care in areas such as triage, referral and treatment/care, will show other health organisations what can be achieved at a range of scales; from individual clinical departments, to hospital, trust or health board level, right up to integrated care system or national delivery of shareable, linked clinical resources.” 

Twelve territorial health boards, six health and social care partnerships, six national NHS boards, three national social care organisations, and ten programmes and networks are delivering tools through the Quris platform. 

Clients further afield using Quris include the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Medical Services, 27 NHS England trusts and five US healthcare systems. 

Partner Content in association with Tactuum