Scotland’s electronic patient record is delivering clear benefits to patient care, according to the authors of a study into its use.
The comments, featured in a letter to the British Medical Journal, are in stark contrast to a report on England’s £12.7 billion programme, which found the records were delivering almost no benefit to patients in England and had failed to improve safety in any way. The English programme is awaiting news of its long-term future, expected in the autumn Spending Review.
The Scottish Emergency Care Record, which is simpler and carries only basic information such as allergies and medication, was delivering “more timely, accurate, and patient centred” clinical decisions, the report’s lead author Libby Morris wrote. The scheme is provided by an Atos Origin-led comsortium, including Sopra, BT and IBM.
The ECR was also helping hospital pharmacists, Morris said, with all those interviewed saying it was “useful or extremely useful” in medicines reconciliation.
The involvement of doctors and patients from the early stages of the Scottish programme was praised. The report, featuring an assessment from three acute trusts, is due to be published in the coming weeks, according to E-Health Insider.
But Morris lamented the fact the Scottish record was not compared to England’s in the review of the English Summary Care Record: “The success of Scotland’s programme has been dismissed, seemingly because of Scotland’s small population.”
Scottish hospitals access over 200,000 of the records each month, with the central database automatically receiving prescription and allergy updates from GP surgeries twice a day.