GPs have raised concerns about TPP SystmOne’s new data sharing model which Connecting for Health says is currently being reviewed before further roll-out.

SystmOne release 3 will change the way data sharing works for SystmOne users as well as introducing Role Based Access Controls.

The current system means clinicians make decisions about data sharing using six different privacy levels. Release three introduces an Enhanced Data Sharing Model which means all patients must choose whether their information is “shareable” with all other SystmOne units with which they are registered or “private”. Patients may also opt to have some individual events as “private” while leaving the rest of their record shareable. The default option for patients will be “private”.

Nottinghamshire, where approximately 50% of the 185 practices are SystmOne users, was due to have release three rolled out earlier this spring. However Nottinghamshire Local Medical Committee chief executive Chris Locke said that the LMC took the “unprecedented step” of writing to all three PCT chief executives to express its concerns about the plans for data sharing which he said involved a 12-week roll-out programme.

Locke told EHI Primary Care: “A number of our GPs and practice managers expressed significant concern about the data sharing and confidentiality aspects of it as well as practical problems of sharing data with the community staff.”

He also said GPs were also faced with obtaining consent from every patient which he said would be “a huge piece of work for practices”, identifying which information patients wished to withhold and which they were happy to share.

Locke said the LMC held a meeting with Nottinghamshire’s Health Informatics Service and was initially told there had been no problems with the pilot site in Lincolnshire.

He added: “Since then a message has come through that there were a number of issues in North Lincolnshire and that there will be a moratorium on any further data sharing.”

Locke said existing data sharing arrangements would continue as to withdraw them could damage patient care. However he said the LMC was pleased  the roll-out had been delayed.

He added: “We are not against the principle of data sharing for the patients’ benefit and we are committed to making this technology work.”

Release three introduces Role Based Access Control for SystmOne users and Locke said this had also raised concerns among GPs about business continuity issues. Access rights would no longer be set at practice-level creating potential problems in particular circumstances such as when locums were working at the practice or when access needed to be changed outside support desk hours.

A spokesperson for Connecting for Health said the “pioneer phase” for release 3 was now complete. She added: “There is a period of review and lessons learned from this exercise before agreement to roll the release out further is agreed.”

She added: “The RBAC exercise is complete and will be rolled out as part of every migration to, or new deployment of, TPP R3. The impact on users will be minimal.”

The original plan for release 3, as outlined by CSC in February, was for roll-out to be complete by summer 2008.