A hospital in Wales is piloting a scheme which allows doctors and nurses to access GP patients’ records electronically, it has emerged.
The individual health record (IHR) system being adopted by the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport is designed to speed up treatment for patients admitted in emergency, and also reduces the potential for the wrong medications being administered during a hospital stay.
If the scheme at the hospital’s medical assessment unit (MAU) is successful, it will eventually be rolled out to other hospitals across the country.
The IHR includes important health information on patients’ medication history, allergies and any current problems, although it does not contain any sensitive information.
“For the first time nurses, doctors and pharmacists on the MAU can access the records of 500,000 patients who turn up at the hospital to be admitted,” Dr Martin Murphy, clinical director of Informing Healthcare, the body behind the pilot scheme, told the Western Mail.
“This is helping to speed up treatment because staff do not have to spend large amounts of time – sometimes up to four hours – phoning a GP surgery to find out details about a patient.”
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