In Central and Eastern Cheshire, Secondary Care endocrinology/diabetes clinicians can now access a summary of the patients primary care electronic patient record (EPR), using a secure Web browser for GP data held by the GP provider EMIS. This improves decision making at the point of care.
The clinicians, including consultants, SpRs, dieticians and specialist nurses can access details of medication, allergies, and previous diagnoses, available for 95% of attendees. The GP summary record appears on the screen as a Read-only document. Consent is given by the patient and audited.
Importantly, none of the patients participating in the project has refused access. Feedback has been extremely positive. They view sharing information as a way to improve their own healthcare and also health outcomes for the wider community. One patient said: this is a big step forward for patient safety. Another patient observed why arent all services sharing my information like this.
Hospital clinicians can record certain details from the consultation into a template and write short notes to the GP, that are added to the patients record in real-time. The patients GP is then able to view this back at the practice and include the comments in their own record if they wish. This has the potential to feed directly into individualised care pathways.
In a separate development, the anonymised search facility means that we can take a longitudinal view of trends, such as results of testing for thyroid hormone imbalance or testosterone deficiency in patients with diabetes across one or several Primary Care Trusts. This affords an audit tool that can assess real outcomes.
Conclusion: Access to primary care information affords a radically different perspective, enhancing the clinic consultation and facilitating cross-boundary working with patient satisfaction. It offers a potential frameshift in the management of long-term metabolic and endocrine conditions.