• 27Sep

    Patient engagement needed to ensure digital health records are acceptable to all

    Excerpts from a blog written by Sophie Randall, Project and Partnership Manager, PIF:

    The Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) is creating standards for healthcare records to improve patient safety and the efficient working of the NHS. It’s important healthcare professionals, patients and citizens engage with the process to make sure records meet the needs of all.

    Matt Hancock, the new Secretary of State for Health, is a ‘digital Tigger’, Geraint Lewis, Chief Data Officer at NHS England, told the Professional Standards Records Body’s AGM in London. Hancock is hugely excited about the potential to transform the experience of patient care through digital channels and move the NHS to a personalised, preventative model based on data. But he also firmly believes personal data belongs to the individual.

    This is where PRSB steps in. “Standards are the backbone of good care records”, said PRSB Chair, Prof Maureen Baker. “Every step of the way you need the right information, in the right place, at the right time, for the right patient. It is essential for safe care.”

    PRSB has completed new standards on discharge summaries and child health, and maternity care follows. The real test of the achievement will be the adoption of PRSB standards by clinicians across the country, said Prof Baker, and significant effort is being placed on clinician engagement via the Royal Colleges.

    It is also important for patients to understand why digital health records are important and a new animation has just been launched by PRSB to explain why data capture is vital.

    As the PRSB’s public vox pop demonstrates, people get fed up with recounting their version of their medical history to every healthcare professional they see. There is a real desire and need to make digital patient records available across the system.

    From the perspective of the individual patient, digital transformation ‘will empower people to take control of their own health via convenient access, precision monitoring and access to the system’, said Geraint Lewis, Chief Data Officer at NHS England. It will help patients see themselves as equal partners with the healthcare system and professionals.

    NHS England is looking at social exclusion – the impact for groups who are already socially excluded, those who are digitally excluded and for those in rural areas that live in internet ‘not spots”. Lewis acknowledged the digital literacy and health literacy of citizens will have a huge impact on the success of digital transformation.

    With such huge transformation afoot, there is a real need for engagement with the work of the PRSB to ensure health records are underpinned by standards that are transparent, understandable and acceptable to citizens.

    As Partners of the Patient Information Forum we look forward to working with PRSB on this important agenda.

    You can read the full blog here: https://www.pifonline.org.uk/blog/patient-engagement-needed-ensure-digital-health-records-acceptable/