New body to supervise as your NHS file includes more and more stuff
64b/1: Circumstances of asphyxiation. Auto-erotic (Y/N)
The Department of Health is setting up a new organisation to oversee the scope of the clinical content in the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR). An SCR is an electronic patient record that sums up all of the data collected in the course of all an individual's treatments by the NHS.
The new body will be known as the Summary Care Record Content and Advisory Board and is intended to consider proposals by the SCR programme board to change the scope of the SCR.
"At the first meeting it is expected the board will agree its precise terms of reference and the detailed process it will follow to arrive at its decisions," a spokeswoman for the department said.
A launch date has not yet been decided, but the recruitment process for a person to chair the board is currently underway. Once the chair is appointed, people on patient representative groups and clinical professional bodies will be invited to join the board.
The decision to set up the new organisation was taken after a ministerial review into the SCR in October 2010. The review recommended that new arrangements should be introduced to take responsibility for the scope of the content of the SCR.
In addition, the review said that "as a principle, any change to the scope of the record must be driven by citizens and patients, with appropriate advice from the professions and tempered by the IT capability".
More than 15 million patients already have an SCR and the department said it is working to increase SCR creation and viewing. Feedback suggests that clinicians and patients believe the SCR has an important role to play in improving patient care and safety in urgent and emergency care, it said.
"As further SCRs are created, clinicians in urgent and emergency care will gain confidence that the records will be available and be inclined to use them to support the delivery of care," the spokeswoman said.
"We would like clinicians to be able to be view a patient's SCR, when it is appropriate for them to do so, so that the benefits to patient safety and care can continue to be realised, including more informed and appropriate prescribing, reduced medication errors, greater clinician confidence when caring for patients and improved support for patients who may have problems communicating."
Victor Fraga, senior health analyst at Kable, said: "The SCR is just one small piece in the large care record jigsaw. Currently, the scope of the SCR is very limited, as it only holds data about allergies, blood type and major surgery.
"But this scope needs to be increased so that the SCR can make a real impact on improving patient care, data sharing and achieving efficiency savings."
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
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The arrogance of these people never fails to amaze and frighten me
There is still NO check of the accuracy of the data in your SCR. These people assume that what is entered is correct, I can assure you that it is not!
Some time ago my wife paid a visit to a consultant for a gynecological procedure, the consultant read my wife's SCR, and asked, "Why are you here for this procedure, you have already had a hysterectomy?" My wife never had one, so we asked and were eventually allowed to check our SC'R's.
We each found 10 - 12 major errors in the data, due to bad data entry and data entered on our records for the completely wrong person. Important results of tests and treatments at hospitals were never added to the SCR's
Some of the entries and omissions could have been extremely dangerous for us if medical action was taken only on the basis of the records, i.e. if we were not in a state to make a verbal presentation. My wife has an extreme allergy to penicillin, it is known at our GP's, it is written in her notes, but it was missing from her SCR.
When I checked the process and specifications of the SCR. I found that there are NO requirements for checks of data accuracy. There are a suite of diagnostics, however they only check that the codes used in the SCR are valid codes for use on an SCR.
I attempted to get our practice manager to run a sample test, to try to establish the size of the problem, i.e. to invite a group of patients to check their SCR's with the help of their doctor, but she was not willing to do this.
I also communicated my concerns to our NH trust IT manager, but she was also unhelpful, I do not think she understands what a data base is and how to ensure that it is accurate.
Needless to say my wife and I opted out of the SCR scheme, as one is allowed to do!
As a medical student and junior doctor it was drummed into me to ask the patient and not trust the record or even other doctors. When people report having to give their details several times it is down to this training as much as anything else. I don't know if this is still the mantra.
In any case you look pretty daft if you don't ask the patient if they are allergic to penicillin before giving it. It is a trivially easy check that will one day save a patient (and rather more selfishly, my career). The same is true for checking which leg need to come off
Of course this renders the case for the SCR rather less than it would otherwise be, but I know what I would want my doctor to do.
How big is the SCR database?
And how long will it before someone takes a copy on a memory stick home, and loses it on a train?