Graphnet Health has announced that 45 primary care trusts in England are in the process of implementing its data extraction software, Xtract.

The software is designed to enable clinical data from GP systems to be accurately and securely extracted and then, subject to local data sharing agreements, used by other health professionals within a local health community. Uses include out of hours services, emergency care and community-based care delivered by different health professionals.

Graphnet says that the Xtract extraction process is automatic and enables the sharing of primary care information for audit and clinical purposes, together with providing the information necessary for delivering integrated community-based care for patients with long-term conditions.

The system is currently being used in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to help build an integrated electronic patient record system that combines data from GP and hospital systems.

According to Graphnet by using Xtract, important up-to-date clinical information can be made available to healthcare professionals whenever they need it.

“Over a three year period Xtract has been developed and continuously refined, through consultation with our users. The latest version (V4.08) allows us to install, configure and implement the software remotely without the need for a visit to GP practices," Roger Everitt, Graphnet’s joint managing director told E-Health Insider.

Everitt said that as the NHS modernises and changes its healthcare delivery model the demand for a means of sharing clinical information is rapidly increasing. "Shared care can’t happen without shared information and Graphnet’s GP Xtract is a proven enabler to this process”.

Unlike previous mechanisms to extract and share practice clinical data the Xtract system can be installed and implemented remotely, enabling the software to be installed onto a local machine that then interrogates the practice servers and the extracts a faithful copy of the clinical record. This is encrypted before being securely sent across NHSnet and stored in a secure, encrypted data repository that meets NHS data security standards.

"We are extracting a complete, clinically safe and accurate GP record from the GP system into the secure repository," said Everitt.

He said that the most complicated and important part of the process was usually getting a data sharing agreement worked out. "This is an absolute pre-requisite usually brokered between the practice and the local PCT or strategic health authority."