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Electronic patient record


A number of different versions of patient record systems exist, they are also referred to by a number of varying terms and acronyms, a common one being Electronic Health Record (HER). They are all basically a way of viewing a patient’s medical record via a computerised interface.Examples

  • Could be accessed independently by patients with powers to input information.

  • A pilot in Salford royal hospitals NHS Trust has had good results saving time and improving patient care
  • GP practices are currently rolling out a pilot some practices have been active implementers of an electronic records service for some time
  • Ability to create a full care record such as this example from Swansea which coordinates social care and health services leading to more personalised and joined up individual care
  • Can be integrated with other initiatives for example healthspace an online health organiser that is being developed to promote wellness
  • Wireless medical records are being piloted in Taiwan seeking to improve the quality and efficiency of care received

Benefits and advantages

  •   Increase patient safety by reducing or correcting errors
  •   Improve shared decision making
  •   Improve feelings of empowerment and move away from paternalistic NHS
  •   More efficient/accurate transferability of record

Risks and disadvantages

  • Access is an issue, safeguards must be made against unwanted third party access
  • Data protection and enabling secure access is a significant issue when implementing any such system
  • Must have effective staff and patient trust and buy in to be of use
  • Reservations exist in terms of security and privacy around holding all personal health information on a central database



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