Informing Healthcare has signalled a change of approach to delivering the Individual Health Record that is a key component of its IT strategy for Wales.

The agency announced yesterday that it had signed an agreement with GP system supplier INPS (formerly In Practice Systems) to develop a proprietary version of the IHR that the company will make available to existing users.

“This is the first such agreement to be reached and a similar agreement with other GP systems suppliers in Wales are planned to follow,” it told E-Health Insider.

A spokesperson added that Informing Healthcare would be working with GP system supplies to develop a standard data extraction model and a common user interface so that IHR information could be presented in the same way across Wales.

“The information presented to a clinician in an out of hours or emergency setting will be in a consistent format, regardless of the GP system it has been extracted from,” she said.

The IHR is intended to give out of hours and emergency services staff access to patient demographic data and key health information, such as current medications.

Unlike England’s Summary Care Record, it was always intended that the information in the IHR would be drawn from GP systems and that patients would give their consent every time it was viewed.

Patients should eventually have access through My Health Online, although Informing Healthcare chief executive Dr Gwyn Thomas recently told EHI that its business case was being reviewed.

Graphnet developed the first IHR system for Gwent out of hours services in a project completed in 2007. CSW Health was given the contract for a second IHR roll out in North and West Wales. However, the company went into administration in November last year.

Informing Healthcare’s spokesperson told EHI yesterday that CSW’s exit had allowed it to “review the market” and reassess its options.

“What we found was that the GP system suppliers now have their own, proprietary solutions. We have assessed these and now agreement has been reached with the first of the suppliers.”

INPS is said to have around 50% of the Welsh GP market. Implementation planning for go live with the IHR will begin with a number of GP practices that use its system in October.

These early adopter sites will lead the way for a phased roll out of the IHR across Wales, with the roll out managed through the existing GP framework contract.

Informing Healthcare said that the Graphnet project would continue, although it would be for Blaenau Gwent Local Health Board to decide if it wanted to switch to the new arrangements.

Link: Informing Healthcare

EHI Interview: Sarah Bruce talks to Dr Gwyn Thomas about Informing Healthcare’s plans and his new job as chief information officer for the Welsh Assembly Government in opinion and analysis.