Yesterday I attended an "Open Workshop" organised by the NHS Faculty of Health Informatics
The workshop was led by Dr Gillian Braunold (Connecting for Health, National Clinical Lead for GPs
) and provided an opportunity to explore a range of issues surrounding the Summary Care Record
which is currently being piloted by Connecting for Health
. This will provide an outline record for every NHS patient, initially based on a summary by their GP.
The event was held at Armada House in Bristol
which provided easy access for me and was one of the first organised by the Faculty in the south of England.
The day was opened and chaired by Dr Paul Woolman who introduced the day by outlining the case for the SCR by citing references ranging from the US Institute of Medicine Preventing Medication Errors
to the New Statesman
supplement on IT and Modernisation (Oct 2006).
Gillian outlined her background and asked delegates to describe their role and what they wanted to get out of the workshop. She then described some of the lessons and issues from the early adopter sites (such as that in Bolton which was announced in March
). She discussed some of the issues around opaqueness, delays and politics and compared the approach in England with that in Hampshire, The Wirral and Scotland who are "getting on with it". She also raised issues, which ran throughout the day, about consent, opt-in and opt-out models and sealed envelopes, which have been discussed on this blog
and elsewhere (eg SCR opt-out sets 'onerous' conditions, says GP EHI
Of the £12.4 billion budget for the National Programme for IT only a small percentage is being spend on the SCR, but Gillian described it as being one of the keys to making all of the work on sharing records come true.
The rationale for the inclusion of medications and allergies in the first uploads of records was described, and linked to work on security and confidentiality including Role Based Access Controls (RBAC), workgroups, "legitimate relationships" audits & alerts, and aspects of physical security including smartcards.
Issues about data quality within records were briefly touched on along with developments for patient access via HealthSpace
, including e-gif
level 3 security which is promised for May 2007.
After lunch David Nash gave a demonstration of the Clinical Spine Application (now renamed Summary Care Record) showing the view that a doctor in A&E may get to the data which has been uploaded from a GPs record. This raised lots of discussion about RBAC, overriding dissent etc. Demonstrators (both online and stand alone) of this functionality are being built.
Dr Chris Frith then discussed sharing records with patients in his surgery and gave a demonstration of the ways in which patients can do this via the surgery web site
and EMiS access
. He described the advantages of patient access as increasing trust and accuracy and reducing errors. The usage figures are still quite low bu8t some useful insights are being gained.
Another demonstration, which had been arranged at short notice, was by Brian Seaton, who showed his own medical record from a credit card USB drive using HealtheCard
and discussed the layout and cost issues related to keeping the record up to date and accessing it (especially when NHS computers are having USB ports removed because of data slurping
The final part of the day was workshop where delegates divided into groups to consider some of the issues around business processes and consent models which are being raised by this work and still being grappled with.
Generally the day was quite a useful opportunity to learn about the latest developments and explore some of the ongoing issues, which are important for everyone whether healthcare professionals or patients. It will be interesting to see what the effects of the public information campaigns in early adopter areas will be and how many of the current proposals are still in place ina years time.
Labels: CfH, Connecting for Health, NPfIT, Shared Care Records, Summary Care Records