Wandsworth GPs have agreed to stream data via EMIS Web to a summary record to be viewed at a new urgent care centre at St George’s Hospital.
Battersea GP and clinical ICT lead for Wandsworth Teaching Primary Care Trust Dr Rod Ewen said the urgent care centre is due to fully open in a couple of weeks.
GPs and nurse practitioners at the centre will be able to see a summary record for patients who are registered at one of the Wandsworth practices that have signed up to the data sharing agreement.
Patients of these practices are expected to make up about 40% of attendances. Patients must be asked for consent by a healthcare professional before they can access their record.
Dr Ewen said surrounding PCTs are also looking at creating a shared record for use at the centre, which has been set up to reduce the cost of unnecessary A&E attendances.
Wandsworth GPs already have a record sharing agreement with the hospital dermatology department, he added.
In order to provide more services in the community, one or two consultants from the hospital operate a clinic out of a GP surgery, at which they and specialist GPs can access a read-only view of the patient record.
The dermatology staff also use EMIS Web to record patient data. Dr Ewen said the data sharing agreements came out of a long consultation process involving patients.
“There’s a lot of information governance gone into making sure that not everything can be seen. Patients are really happy with what we are sharing and they can opt out at any stage.”
He added that at a meeting in June, patients were “incredibly happy” to have their information shared with other clinicians and were in fact “annoyed” that it has not been done before.
Wandsworth practices have also been asked to sign up to a data sharing agreement with the diabetes clinic at St George’s Hospital.
In a similar arrangement, consultants would have read-only access to certain information including medications, demographics and details of the patient’s four last GP visits.
Dr Ewen said about 30 out of 44 practices in Wandsworth have moved to EMIS Web and all are due to transition before the end of the year.
Around ten practices are yet to send back the paperwork to allow their patient information to be shared with the services detailed.
He also wants to see the area’s community services move on to EMIS Web, allowing the creation of a primary care shared record with full scheduling between GPs, district nurses and matrons.
“That’s really important for moving 30% of hospital activity into the community; which we need to do because of cost savings,” he explained.
Community services are currently mostly paper based, with some activity recorded in CSE Healthcare’s community system, RiO.
“What we are going to have to do is change all our care pathways because providing care in hospital is hugely expensive, inconvenient and not the best way of doing it,” Dr Ewen added.
Patients often have more than one chronic illness and are treated across multiple sites by various clinicians, so a shared patient record is essential to provide them with consistent high quality care in the community.
“We need to pull that patient journey together into a single standard that we can understand,” he said. “This is a ten-year programme that is really just starting to come to fruition to provide joined up care.”
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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