Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Now Here Is A Way Of Replicating Most Of What The PCEHR Was Meant To Do Without A Huge Centralised Database.
This article appeared a little while ago.
19 May 2015 Thomas Meek
Nearly all GP practices in England are able to offer a variety of online services to patients, including access to a summary of their record, appointment booking, and ordering repeat prescriptions.
Data published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre appears to justify the “optimism” expressed by NHS England in March that that the government’s target for online access to medical records would be hit.
The HSCIC’s indicator portal shows that on 31 March 2015, 7,566 practices were offering patients the opportunity to view a subset of their medical records online.
That is 96.8% of the total 7,813 practices in England and translates to a potential user base of more than 55 million people.
The publication of the figures comes five years after the Conservative Party pledged in its 2010 election manifesto to allow people to “check your health records online in the same way that you do your bank account”.
The initial plan was to provide patients with online access to their full patient record by 31 March 2015, but these plans were later scaled back to require GP practices to provide access to the information held by the Summary Care Record by this date.
The latest figures show that the target of 95% of practices was hit; although 197 practices had still not enabled the functionality by the end of March, while a further ten had no functionality in place.
All the practices with no functionality have Microtest as their system supplier and are primarily in the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly area, while the trusts that have functionally but have not enabled it are divided between TPP, Emis and INPS.
The number of patients actually signed up to view their records online remains relatively low, at just over 2.5 million, or 4.5% of the total number of registered patients. However, this is a big step forward from the end of December, when just 750,000 patients were signed up.
Usage is picking up too, with patients accessing their summary information 231,091 times from January to March 2015, compared to 50,189 times for the three-month period ending 31 December 2014.
Lots more information and details are here:
So what we now have in the UK is that most people who want it can have access to a summary of the record held by the GP as well as the capacity to arrange repeat prescriptions and appointments etc.
Given this access is provided on-line by your local practice it would seem that something that is even more useful and accessible than the PCEHR has been created without the issues around centralised systems and the risk of large security breaches and so on.
It also totally avoids the issues around replicated records where all sorts of inaccuracy can come in.
I wonder was an approach of this sort considered before the extra half billion dollars was thrown at the PCEHR?
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, May 27, 2015