Urgent care doctors and pharmacists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are accessing key information from the patient records of 91 GP practices using EMIS Web.

A&E clinicians and hospital pharmacists can access a core set of information – including active problems, medications and health status – through a secure, read-only view of the patient’s GP record via EMIS Web access points at hospital terminals.

Users within the trust calculate that since going live in April, the service has saved them hundreds of phone calls and faxes a month to GP practices to check patients’ medical details.

This equates to 3.5 working days a month.

In the medical assessment unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital, clinicians are now accessing EMIS Web 20-30 times a day.

Access has also been extended to other wards where qualified pharmacy staff are able to use EMIS Web after obtaining patient consent.

Lynn Bruce, pharmacy team leader in the Royal Blackburn Hospital MAU said: “EMIS Web has revolutionised our lives, saves an enormous amount of time and undoubtedly made the journey in and out of hospital much safer for patients.

“We have also been able to improve communication with GPs about changes to patients’ therapy while they are in hospital,” she added.

Witton Medical Centre GP Dr Paul Fourie said: “The benefits for patients are fantastic. One of the biggest problems for urgent care doctors is finding out what medication the patient is on, particularly out of hours.

“Record viewing via EMIS Web is unarguably safer than faxes or phone calls to practice staff who are not medically qualified.”

The record-sharing initiative is underpinned by strict local data-sharing agreements and ‘point of care’ patient consent.