The Professional Records Standards Body hopes to have established a formal service for the maintenance and development of clinical records standards by early next year, its chair has revealed.

Professor Iain Carpenter told the CCIO Leaders Network conference the body is in contractual discussions with the Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Information Centre, and aims to have the service running by April 2015.

The PRSB was launched at last year’s conference and aims to promote the development of health and care records based on common reporting standards.

He appealed to CCIOs to get involved in the body’s work, arguing that: “It is CCIOs, the people at the coalface, who can make these standards happen.

“It’s important that the standards are not just standards made by somebody else, but that CCIOs feed into the process that makes the standards in the first place.

“We’re in a changing world [with electronic care records],” concluded Professor Carpenter, who also serves as associate director of the health informatics unit at the Royal College of Physicians.

“Let’s grab it by the scruff of the neck and make it go the way we want it to go.”

His presentation was followed by a closing keynote address by RCP president Professor Jane Dacre, who suggested CCIOs also had a crucial role to play in ensuring medical students are educated in the importance of clinical informatics.

“You as CCIOs need to be working with us to tell us what ought to go in the curriculum on informatics, and to help us write clever exam questions on health informatics,” she suggested.

“Before I became president of the RCP, I was medical director of the MRCP, and I am absolutely convinced that if you want doctors to know about something, you need to write some good questions or scenarios that go into the exam.

“We as people who train doctors don’t necessary know what those questions are, and you working with us to develop communications skills scenarios that have informatics in.

“In my experience, all you need to do is put something into the exam and students will learn it extremely well.”