Welsh EHR content revealed in updated plan

  • 14 February 2006

Informing Healthcare, the Welsh healthcare IT programme, has published the second version of its national case, detailing the proposed content of the electronic health record and stressing that the patient will own the data on it.

The update was published last week following last September’s National Architecture Week conference, at which clinicians and IT staff met in workshops to discuss how to take the strategy forward.

Wales’s Individual Health Record (IHR) will contain patient demographics, care relationships and a current health status. Health events in the form of admission letters, requests of tests and other records of care encounters will be stored as well. "A person’s Individual Health Record (IHR) is owned by the person him/herself and is held on their behalf by the Custodian – a trusted third party," says the national case.

Access control will depend on several factors; the authentication of the user, the care relationship, and the individual’s wishes.

Details of the proposals for My Health Online, which will allow individuals online access to their IHR, have also been released.

"[My Health Online] provides a vision of how the NHS could support the citizens of Wales to take greater ownership for their health through electronic access their information," says the national case.

"Eventually it will be developed as a means for patients to manage their transactions with the NHS, such as making appointments, dealing with electronic correspondence and the remote provision of relevant personal health information, through greater degrees of integration with NHS information systems in the future."

Six appendices are being published to the national case. Three are available now – a summary of the National Architecture conference, the design brief for the IHR and a description and flowchart of the national architecture itself.

Another three are due on 20 February; these are a report on the achievements of Informing Healthcare so far, a description of the My Health Online project and details of Service Improvement Projects, set up locally to solve particular problems with the aim of rolling the solutions out nationally. The main document and appendices are also currently being translated into Welsh.

A spokesperson for the BMA in Wales said that they welcomed the new case. A formal announcement by the Welsh Assembly is expected in due course.

The document had been expected to come out at the beginning of the year. A spokesperson for Informing Healthcare told E-Health Insider that the delay was down to "simply a matter of resource for formatting".

Informing Healthcare plans to review its national case regularly with clinicians and IT staff at Architecture Week conferences. In an interview with E-Health Insider at the end of last year, Dr Gwyn Thomas, chief executive of Informing Healthcare said that taking small steps and revising the case regularly was the healthiest way forward.

"The way you manage… risk is that you take small steps but make them as rapid as possible," he said. "I don’t know of any other programme that revises its implementation plan every six months."

Related documents

Informing Healthcare – The National Case, Second Edition, and appendices

Related stories  

Comment & Analysis interview with Dr Gwyn Thomas
New mothers in Wales to have first access to EHRs

Links

Informing Healthcare

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