Updated healthcare record standards, which aim to help organisations meet the ‘paperless challenge’ have been launched today.
The new standards reveal a standardised structure for electronic records, so that clinical information can be shared and reused.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and Royal College of Physicians (RCP), who developed the standards, believe it will enable a system where a patient’s record can follow them across care settings.
Dr Mark Davies, director of Clinical and Public Assurance at HSCIC said: “Clinical records are an intrinsic part of the care process. If the data that are derived from them is to be as complete and accurate as possible, it is important that they are built on professional ownership.
“The HSCIC supports the essential role that the clinical community plays in maintaining and developing the underlying record keeping standards that will ensure our information accurately reflects the care delivered.”
Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said current initiatives to switch to a paperless system are “patchy”.
He added: “EPRs are the way forward for the NHS. If we can get the right system in place, the paybacks will be immediate, both for patients and the staff who care for them.
“What we really need is a programme that joins up the whole system, one that is accessible no matter which NHS service is treating you and one that frees up more clinicians' time and patients' time to focus on care.”
Professor Iain Carpenter, chair of the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB), said: “The PRSB welcomes publication of the standards that present the patient and care professional requirements for electronic health records.
The PRSB has recommended that NHS England progress the standards to become NHS Information standards to form the basis for integrated digital care records."