NHS e-records project underway2nd January 2008
The first set of electronic patient records are now in use on the new NHS online database, as part of the £12bn NHS information technology improvement programme.
About 20 GP practices in Bolton and Bury have uploaded 110,000 patients' data onto the system. The system will be made live in January.
The electronic data is intended to be accessible to NHS workers across the country and will provide information about a patient's medical conditions, what kind of treatment they are receiving and any allergies.
The new system will eventually contain 50 million medical records and will be implemented nationally from the end of 2008, after a review of how successful the pilot projects have been.
In excess of 550,000 patients in Bolton, Bury, Dorset, south Birmingham and Bradford and Airedale have received a request to allow their information to be stored in the system.
Patients are given the option of opting out of the system completely or to give access "once staff have their explicit consent". The HealthSpace website allows patients to look at their own data online.
However, a recent survey in Bolton discovered that many GPs were not keen on the idea of e-records. Out of the 98 GPs who responded 67 "were against" e-records.
Those in favour of the scheme say that it will help to combat delays which are inherent in paper-based records and will also aid communication.
Marlene Winfield, national patient lead for the programme, said: "Patients are always surprised that their records aren't already available in other parts of the NHS - they say we thought the NHS has been doing this for years."
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Title: NHS e-records project underway
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5198
Date Added: 2nd Jan 2008