Secondary care clinicians estimate that the integrated EMIS Web system launched across 91 GP practices across Blackburn, Lancashire, in April saved 1,000 phone calls to practices to check patients’ medical records, in its first three months.
Urgent care doctors and hospital pharmacists using the system within East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust calculate that it is saving them hundreds of phone calls and faxes a month to GP practices, equating to 3.5 working days a month.
Dr Paul Fourie, whose Witton Medical Centre practice in Blackburn took part in the scheme, said: ‘The benefits for patients are fantastic. One of the biggest problems for urgent care doctors is finding out what medication the patient is on, particularly out of hours. Record viewing via EMIS Web is unarguably safer than faxes or phone calls to practice staff who are not medically qualified.’
The information – including details of prescribed medication – is available through a secure, read-only view of the patient’s GP record via EMIS Web access points at hospital terminals. The record-sharing initiative has local data-sharing agreements and patient consent.
Managing director of EMIS Neil Laycock called the scheme a 'fantastic example of integrated healthcare in action'.