Summary care records 'outdated' before pilots end

Electronic patient records could be outdated by the time pilot schemes are complete, according to a BMJ editorial.

Young patients and GPs may be using more advanced software from Google and Microsoft to create their own health records by the time the system is implemented, the article says.

The summary care records (SCR) scheme involves the uploading of patients' records from GP practices to a central system, where they can be accessed by other nurses and doctors across the area. Patients can also view their records via the website HealthSpace.

So far uptake of HealthSpace as been low - 0.12 per cent of patients invited to open an account have done so. The summary care record is being piloted in five early adopter sites but has been plagued by delays and concerns about privacy and data loss.

The article's author, Professor Michael Kidd, from Sydney University, suggests the summary care record is ‘too little, too late'. 

A spokesman for Connecting for Health, running the pilots, said: ‘Unlike many social networking sites, HealthSpace has a rigorous registration and authentication process.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

BMJ2008: 336

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