• 25Feb

    Electronic patient records, personalised health information and digital services: Scottish health strategy

    Scotland have launched a National Clinical Strategy that prioritises the importance of supporting patients to fully understand and manage their health needs.

    The development of the National Clinical Strategy was led by medical director ,and former GP, Dr Angus Cameron – with input from the National Clinical Director, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer – and involved stakeholders and open meetings with clinicians around the country.

    The strategy has also been shaped by the views of the patients, public and clinicians who have contributed to the Scottish Government’s on-going Healthier Scotland conversation.

    The strategy  sets out a framework for the development of health services across Scotland for the next 10-15 years. It gives an evidence-based high level perspective of why change is needed and what direction that change should take.

    It reviews the challenges facing the NHS in Scotland, including a need to increase co-production with patients and carers, create high-quality anticipatory care plans and to support people in health improvement and self-management.

    It considers the situation and needs of people with long term conditions reflecting that:

    • In 2014, 46% of adults had one or more long-term conditions.
    • People living with a long-term condition are likely to be more disadvantaged across a range of social indicators.
    • People with long-term conditions are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital and will stay in hospital disproportionately longer than people without them.

    A significant number of long-term conditions are preventable with appropriate lifestyle choices, and the strategy reflects on the need in Scotland for continued work on influencing changes in lifestyle choices and thereby developing a healthier population for the future.

    It recognises that good quality information can help patients and carers to achieve higher levels of self-management, and make realistic and informed choices about their healthcare.

    It states that the provision of online information from accredited sources is in place with the development of digital resources such as NHSinform. However, the current range of public online health information resources needs to be consolidated and personalised.

    It highlights that patient’s online access to their medical data is still only possible in Scotland in very limited circumstances, although patients have a legal entitlement to view their records if they wish. Most people are currently unable to access their notes online, book appointments electronically, view test results or order repeat prescriptions.

    The Strategy refers to plans to establish a patient portal over the next few years, which will give access to a summary electronic patient record, personalised health information and digital services for every citizen in Scotland.

    The full National Clinical Strategy can be accessed here.