More hospital doctors and pharmacists will now be able to access electronic GP records of Welsh patients, the Welsh government has announced. “This change means that vital information is now available regardless of how a patient comes into our hospitals 24 hours a day, every day of the year, improving the ability of healthcare professionals to provide safer care particularly in patient’s medicines management,” said health secretary Vaughan Gething.
The NHS Wales Informatics Service will select key pieces of information of the patient record as strict regulation has been laid out to make sure that data is shared safely and securely: every time a record is accessed, an auditable log will appear automatically on the system. Health professionals will ask patients for their consent in order for the information to be accessed at every new consultation and they can choose to opt out of the scheme by talking to their GP.
Rhidian Hurle, medical director of the NHS Wales Informatics Service and chief clinical information officer for Wales, said: “The extended access to the GP record makes it easier for health professionals to provide safer care, saving them time in getting the correct information about the patients they are caring for and therefore allowing them more time to focus on the patients’ needs. It is a win-win for patients and professionals alike.”