GP record system to be trialled

Dr Colin Brown.
Dr Colin Brown.

A NEW interactive data sharing system which allows doctors to obtain important patient information at the bedside is to be trialled at hospitals in Morecambe Bay.

The patient shared GP record system has been gradually rolling out across South Lakeland for the last two years.

The record system already allows GP practices across South Lakeland to securely share important patient information with a range of health professionals electronically rather than relying on limited paper notes.

Important health information such as what allergies the patient may have, what medication they are on, any recent tests they may have had and the diagnosis, along with details of their consultation, is shared with the patient’s permission.

The system also allows health professionals to update GP records instantly with diagnoses, test results and treatment information.

Now the trial, which has allowed sharing between Ambleside Health Centre and Sedbergh Health Centre with Westmorland General Hospital, uses the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) system which allows different computer systems to talk to each other.

It enables data sharing between GP systems and those of other providers which use different computer systems such as local hospitals.

The joint NHS Cumbria and UHMBT initiative is to allow doctors at the Trust to check if a shared GP record is available and to access it with the permission of the patient.

If successful it will be gradually rolled out to all shared record systems across other GP surgeries in South Lakeland and South Cumbria.

Dr Colin Brown, clinical lead at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “The new system is currently ‘live’ at two GP practices following a successful pilot and we hope it will improve the delivery of care and make patient safety more efficient.

“We want to invest in improving clinical performance and we have been discussing this with our GPs and how best to provide information that follows the patients and supports their care.

“We want to view the summary of care in the community so we can benchmark the care we provide, such as medication, against what patients have already received.”

UHMBT is in the process of putting sharing agreements in place to develop the system with GP practices across North Lancashire and South Cumbria.