Feeds

NHS rolls out open-source test results service for renal patients

UK-wide system lets kidney patients see results before doctors do

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Patients of 53 renal units across the UK are accessing results and clinical letters through a secure online system, often meaning they get the information faster than their GPs.

Renal PatientView is used by 19,000 patients who have opted in to accessing their results online. The system also lets patients add their own data - such blood pressure - access online information about their condition and is being adapted to allow them to pass comments on their care back to hospital units.

Dr Keith Simpson, consultant nephrologist at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, told the HC2012 conference in London that data is extracted from renal units' systems every six to 24 hours, depending on its importance. It is sent in encrypted form across NHS networks to a secure online server for patients to access. "The patient will normally see this before their GP," he said, as renal units do not generally send results and letters to GPs electronically.

The system, which was launched in 2005 and developed by staff from Glasgow's Western Infirmary and Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary, runs on open source software available for others to use. Units pay a fee to join, while it is free for patients. A similar system for bowel disease patients, using the software, will start this year.

Simpson said that many users log on to the system on the first day following a test, and a substantial number do likewise, just before an appointment. "Doctor may want to take note of this," he said. "Patients are very well-informed, and want to take part." Users tend to log on during work days, rather than weekends and bank holidays.

The system requires just a username and password for access, but Simpson said that research with users found that very few were concerned about security, that 40% shared their passwords with other people and that many thought the data should also be used for research.

He said that future plans for the system include allowing records to be transferred between different participating renal units, linking to primary care systems such as Scotland's emergency care summary and England's summary care record, and functionality for rare diseases. So far, no work has been done on whether it improves clinical outcomes for patients.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.