NHS Scotland has chosen INPS’ Vision system for16 prisons in a contract worth more than £300,000 over five years.

The contract will see a single Vision system hosted within NHS Grampian. All patient records, which are currently held in the prisons’ General Practice Administration System for Scotland, will be transferred to the new set-up.

INPS engineers started to install the required infrastructure earlier this month, and the roll-out of Vision is scheduled to begin in May.

The core Vision software is being modified to provide electronic registration for new patients, tailored prescribing screens and prescription record sheets, bespoke reporting, customised data entry screens, and a number of other features to support the GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other practice staff working within a prison care setting.

At the moment, there is no automatic electronic transfer of patient records between prisons in Scotland, even though prisoners are frequently transferred between establishments.

INPS said this caused an administrative burden, as each prison had to summarise a patient’s notes manually when they arrived.

“Using a centrally hosted Vision system allows healthcare workers to access records as soon as a patient is transferred, improving efficiency by removing the need to manually summarise records,” a company statement says.

“Maintaining central patient records across all prison establishments ensures a much improved continuity of care for the patient and encourages better data quality too.”

INPS managing director Max Brighton said the prison service would be using Vision 3 as its clinical system and Vision 360 as a central repository to enable all clinicians in all prisons to access the patient records.

More than half of the GP practices in Scotland are already using Vision and a number of health boards will be using Vision 360 to share patient information within their local healthcare communities in the near future, he said.

Currently, the prisoner’s community GP record is not available within prisons, but INPS is working on functionality to make that transfer possible, he added.

“The key to the success of the Scottish Prison Service system is running a secure and reliable hosted system,” Brighton said.

“This is an area of strength for INPS, proven by our success in deploying over eight hundred hosted Vision systems in England and Wales.”

The contract value is £300,524 over five years.