GP leaders said they had been assured by health boards and trusts that the expansion of access to summary GP records would be safe and secure.
The development means that access to a summary of GP records will be extended to hospital doctors and pharmacists providing planned patient care, including outpatient appointments. Access to the records is already available to clinicians in emergency care settings such as A&E.
The government said that strict controls would be in place to ensure the expansion of access was safe and secure, including auditable logs made each time a record is accessed.
Patients will be required to give permission at each consultation for their records to be accessed.
In England access to the summary care record is already available to hospitals, urgent care centres, pharmacies and out-of-hours services.
Summary care record
Welsh 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 healthcare professionals to provide safer care particularly in patients' medicines management.’
GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said: ‘The establishment of the National Intelligent Integrated Audit Solution 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.’
NHS Wales Informatics Services medical director, consultant surgeon Mr Rhidian Hurle 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.’