Out-of-hours provider Adastra has delivered an integrated solution for the Summary Care Record that will make access to the SCR much quicker and easier for clinicians, NHS Connecting for Health has announced.
The integrated solution means out-of-hours clinicians will be able to instantly access the SCR from within Adastra, subject to confidentiality safeguards. The system was first used by staff at Bury and Rochdale Doctors on Call (BARDOC) last week and has already proved popular, according to CfH.
Dr Gillian Braunold, clinical director for the SCR, told E-Health Insider and EHI Primary Care: “The staff at BARDOC were quite ecstatic about being able to see the information so easily and with the quality of the way that the information is displayed.”
She said the University College of London evaluation of the SCR early-adopters had “quite rightly” criticised the way the SCR has worked in out-of-hours services for being too clunky, with staff needing to switch between applications to view it.
“I was not prepared to go to national roll-out without integration with Adastra,” she said. “I was expecting the SCR to become a one click link within Adastra; but they have gone much further so that it is actually within the system.”
Dr Alex Yeates, medical director for Adastra, said the project was the fulfilment of “a lifelong ambition” to provide out-of-hours clinicians with easy access to summary information from GP records.
He added: “There are several situations in which access to this kind of information would be extremely valuable. In some scenarios, it would change the course of treatment for the patient. For instance, it might keep them out of hospital where admittance would normally happen.”
Dr Yeates said Adastra had been working on the solution for more than a year and had spent a lot of time ensuring that only clinicians with a legitimate relationship with the patient would be able to view their SCR.
The solution works by providing a link between Adastra and the Personal Demographics Service so that call takers registering a patient can quickly look up a patient’s demographic details and their NHS Number. This first step enables Adastra to meet the requirement for universal use of the NHS Number by September next year.
Dr Yeates said the SCR would be hidden from view for call takers and clinicians working in out-of-hours would need to go through a carefully constructed process to view a record.
Clinicians will first need to be authorised to view SCRs via their smartcard. Then they will need to be authorised by a supervisor to be working a shift at the out-of-hours centre. Then they will only be able to view the SCRs of patients who have registered during that session.
Dr Yeates said: “There is at least a two person process – and often a three person process – before someone can view a record. So the chances of someone being able to look up Leo Blair’s MMR status are extremely low; unless there was considerable collusion.”
Adastra covers 95% of out-of-hours services in England and more than half of the country’s walk-in centres. Dr Yeates said the solution would be used in Bury for 42 days as part of CfH’s safety checks before it is rolled out elsewhere.
The next early adopter primary care trust, due to go live with the Adastra solution at the end of January, is South West Birmingham, where the cooperative BADGER covers 2.7m patients across the city.
Dr Braunold said more PCTs were lined up to follow the six existing SCR pilot sites from April, but that full roll-out could not happen until GP IT system supplier EMIS became SCR compliant. She said national roll-out of the SCR within two years, as set out in Informatics Planning guidance last week, was achievable.
“I think it is realistic and it is a key enabler for the Darzi review requirements that the NHS has to deliver,” she said.