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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Greater electronic access to patients' records in Wales

More hospital doctors and pharmacists now have electronic access to Welsh patients’ GP records, improving patient safety by sharing information.

The change means that from this month the NHS Wales Informatics Service will make a summary of key information from a patient’s GP record available electronically for planned patient care, including during outpatient appointments.

Previously it was only available to pharmacists and doctors in emergency care settings such as A&E.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “This change means that vital information is now available regardless of how a patient comes into our hospitals 24 hours a day, every day of the year improving the ability of health care professionals to provide safer care particularly in patient’s medicines management.”

Dr Charlotte Jones, Chair, General Practitioners Committee, BMA Wales said: “The establishment of the National Intelligent Integrated Audit Solution (NIIAS) and the Health Boards and Trusts’ formal commitment to monitor access to the patient record using this system has provided GPC Wales with full assurance that the extension of access will be safe, secure and will advance the ability to provide safer clinical care to the patient.”

Mr Rhidian Hurle, Consultant Surgeon, Medical Director at NHS Wales Informatics services and Chief Clinical Information Officer for Wales, said: “I am delighted that in partnership with GPC Wales we at NWIS have been able to deliver this new functionality to national clinical software in our hospitals. 

"The extended access to the GP Record makes it easier for health professionals to provide safer care, saving them time in getting the correct information about the patients they are caring for and therefore allowing them more time to focus on the patients needs. It is a win win for patients and professionals alike.”
Strict controls are in place to ensure that patient information is safe and secure. Every time a patient’s record is accessed via the secure database, an auditable log will be made.  

Patients will be asked by the health professional providing their care for permission to look at their record at each and every consultation. In addition, patients can if they wish opt out of the system entirely by speaking to their GP.  

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