Is DXS BestPathway the same as Ardens /
other competitors?

Is DXS BestPathway the same as Ardens / other competitors?

Author: Mike Sanders
Date: 15 February 2021

In the DXS BestPathway team, the question we are most asked is some variation of the following –

“Is this the same as Ardens / other competitors?”
“How does this compare to Ardens / other competitors?’”
“What makes you different from Ardens / other competitors?”

In short, the answer is “No”. DXS BestPathway is not the same as Ardens, but it is a natural comparison, and all the related questions are entirely understandable and welcomed.

Allow me to address them all.

Ardens is one of the key market leaders in the Primary Care Clinical Consultation support sector and has been providing excellent quality, clinical system content for a number of years. They are a widely known entity and use their significant reach to create incredibly useful national forms and templates to add value to any practice. If your practice is struggling with national returns, national reporting, QOF, procedures and other country-wide incentives, DXS can whole-heartedly recommend Ardens’ products and services.

The BestPathway team at DXS, takes a different approach to the inception and creation of our content. Our fundamental principles revolve around the Pareto Principle, which sites that, in most cases, 80% of our time is spent performing 20% of our work. This principle is true in primary care, so with this principle as the bedrock of our operation, our goal has always been to focus on, and perfect that 20% of work that constitutes the majority of time spent in primary care practice. By focussing this way, our opinion is that we can provide the most value, with the least impact to all practice, PCN, CCG, federation and all other care providing sector staff. We focus on working with staff at all levels, within all areas of primary care, to create gold standard, best practice, holistic toolkits; creating full workflows using system agnostic thinking. By following these principles and goals, we have been able to conceive and create DXS BestPathway. For us, this is a best of breed toolkit that leverages full clinical system functionality in all 3 major systems (SystmOne, EMIS and Vision), integrated with GPSoC and GPITF approved software to create end-to-end solutions that encompass all standard general practice functions such as QOF and cancer, but also goes on to support a full range of complex, local medicinal monitoring, opportunistic support for administrators, and even Locally Enhanced or Commissioned services.

So, what does this mean in reality? How does this set you apart?

In practical terms, this manifests in a few key ways:

Initial deployment – At the inception of deploying Ardens or BestPathway, the 2 products take a different approach. As Ardens’ substantial core library is focussed on a national level, they will be able to deploy their content almost immediately (clinical system dependant), whereas within BestPathway we will, of course, provide customers with the standard national content to support all busy practices, but we will also undertake an extensive but unintrusive discovery phase to uncover your local needs and requirements. The insights learned from our investigation will be creatively and effectively moulded into a localised toolkit and embedded into all of our existing content, both in and out of the clinical systems. Overall, this extends our initial deployment time but also provides significant benefits in the localisation to solve local problems, and the precision and accuracy of the content provided.

Clinical decision support – A key element of providing content and services to primary care is clinical decision support. Ardens will embed extensive and useful information in their templates to guide and support GPs, nurses and HCAs when conducting consultations, this guidance can be invaluable at imparting newly created or amended national guidelines. Again, at DXS, we take a different approach. Not only do we include relevant information within our system content, but we are also able to leverage our external software, allowing us to create much more visual and interactive pathways further supporting clinical decision support. This includes threshold and criteria management, such as 2WW recommendations or prior approval procedure requirements, allowing for stronger validation on referrals. Taking this approach ensures that accurate and standardised information is available consistently to all users, regardless of their clinical system of choice.

Functionality – Ardens is experts at squeezing the maximum functionality and effectiveness out of the big 2 clinical systems (SystmOne and EMIS). For years they have been the market leader in pioneering this functionality. However, they will be the first to admit that this functionality is limited. It is limited in its technical capability (both systems are nearly a decade old), it is limited in its agnosticism (though both excellent, SystmOne and EMIS do not have alignment in systems functionality), and it is limited by the desires and roadmaps of its creators (TPP and Egton). Our solution allows process flows to move outside of the clinical system, whilst maintaining their context and relevance to the consultation. This way, we are able to more closely standardise working practice across areas with a disparity in clinical systems.

Clinical coding – Ardens and DXS both also take a different stance on how the codes are selected for each piece of content. Ardens has an excellent focus on usability and ease of data entry and, in the absence of any relevant code, will select a code of “Yes” or “No” or other generic code. This allows their users to capture responses to questions that do not have a supported code, which is extremely useful for niche or specialist assessments. In the BestPathway team, we will not use generic codes due to the, albeit small, possibility that following a practice merge or change of clinical system, all contextual data may be lost and the practice will only be left with the codes. In this instance, there is no way of knowing what question these generic codes are attached to. So, our approach leverages other functionalities within both the system and our bespoke software to ensure that these items are coded and recorded safely in the system. By taking this ‘structured data’ approach, we are able to provide operational and strategic reporting, including population health management, across all our content, which includes templates, protocols and assessments.

In summary, although operating in the same space, Ardens and DXS BestPathway do not share a whole lot in common. Yes, we both provide clinical, supporting content into primary care, and if you want a very large, extensive library of national templates and forms, Ardens is absolutely an excellent choice. If, however, you want a more compact, tailored and bespoke set of holistic tools, we would welcome you to reach out to us for a consultation!

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