Different location, different system, same information
Different IT systems exist in healthcare settings in the UK. A GP practice in Stirling, a hospital in Swansea, or a care home in Southampton will all capture similar information, but that information is unlikely to be transferable. There are some great examples of systems working in harmony. If you work in Leeds for instance, you are likely to be part of the Leeds Care Record (see the blue box at the side of the page). It provides health and social care professionals access to the most up-to-date information about patients, by sharing appropriate information from medical and care records between health and social care services in Leeds. But as a patient, you may live in Leeds, but your child might become poorly whilst you are visiting friends in Surrey and you would want the GP there to have access to the health history of your child. This can only happen if we have interoperable systems which can “speak” to one another.
Current PRSB work
The PRSB develops and helps to implement information standards for the structure and content of care records. These cover, for example, hospital referral letters, handover communications, discharge summaries, and inpatient and outpatient letters. The latest published and approved set of standards are Standards for the clinical structure and content of patient records
During 2018, they will deliver several projects for new care record standards, including: urgent care information flows; clinical referral information; maternity records, and information sharing with care homes. This is in addition to standards already developed around:
- crisis care summary
- digital care and support plan
- e-discharge summary
- emergency care discharge
- mental health inpatient discharge
- outpatient letters
- healthy child record
- structure and content of patient records
- structure and content of ambulance records.
Current RCN work
The RCN have been working with our reps on a project called Standards for the structure and content of Electronic Health Records: the nursing contribution.
RCN reps are uniquely placed to support employers in implementing local e-health record systems and ensuring the frontline staff who will not only use the system, but have the opportunity to support the implementation and ensure it works for all. Co-designed by the UK Rep committees, and with the support of the E-health forum, this resource will use the experiences and ideas of those at the heart of the matter. It is due for publication in the Autumn of 2018.
What can I do?
Visit the PRSB website to find out more about their work. You can join a mailing list to be kept informed about current and future projects.
Do you know who your Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) is? If you work in the NHS, they are likely to be involved in procuring IT solutions. Raising awareness of the work of the PRSB, and why it’s so important to ensure the interoperability of electronic health records across health and social care systems, would be a great way to support the vision of better records for better care.
Matt Butler, RCN eHealth forum steering committee (Chair)
Annette Gilmore, RCN eHealth forum steering committee
Dave O’Carroll, RCN Programme Manager (Information and Resources)
Ross Scrivener, RCN Knowledge and Resources Manager