The Scottish national sexual health IT system has been upgraded to include patient dashboards.

The electronic patient record system, known as NaSH, was first piloted in 2008 before being rolled out nationally and it now covers all health boards on the Scottish mainland.

NaSH incorporates all the sexual health services in both primary and secondary care. The system has been upgraded to include functionalities such as a patient dashboard summary, to help clinicians assimilate information from various parts of the record.

Dr Andrew Winter, a consultant in sexual health and HIV medicine at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and chair of the NaSH user group, told EHI that sexual health clinics in Scotland are a fully paperless service.

“In Glasgow we see more than 100,000 patients a year across different locations, but all completely paperless from beginning to end” he said, adding that this includes e-prescribing.

“We manage all results by electronic workflows. Lab requests and results are done electronically and communicated out to the patients through their preferred method.”

Dr Winter added that in Glasgow, the total turnaround time was rarely longer than 48 hours from taking the test to the patient getting the result.

The system, which is based on AxSys Technology Excelicare product, provides a national sexual health data base and a joined up sexual health service across health boards.

“The advantage in Scotland is because it’s a single system you can move within health boards and still keep the same record,” said Dr Winter.

Patients have the right to use services anonymously, which means they are given an anonymous CHI number, Scotland’s primary patient identifier.

“We have a very candid approach to identity which means patients can access anonymised care if they want to, or people can choose for us to use their CHI number. If they want to use a different name, we can guarantee anonymity,” said Dr Winter.

He added that the service always encourage patients to use their real names.

The system is integrated with the national Scottish Care Information systems. This means that lab results held in the SCI-store can be accessed on NaSH and users of the system can share data back with the SCI-store. However, not all health boards use the SCI store.

Dr Winter said the automated data collection process has improved data quality and the system provides them with rich anonymised datasets which can be used to improve the services.

“People can see that if they put the data in right, it’s incredibly powerful. We’re able to get a lot of information out of the system,” he said.

“It’s not been easy to get here and there’s a lot of culture change to come, but it’s been really positive.”

Dr Winter said that there are still improvements to be made, especially in terms of making it easier to use.

“We’re looking at how to make the system more clinically usable and make it easier to use,” he said.

The service has also experimented with self-check in kiosks and online self-assessments for patients.