Friday, February 29, 2008

Good to be home ....

Sorry for no posts since last Saturday!!

Another really busy week on the road and finally today (Friday) I get chance to spend a day back at home in the office catching up.

It feels good to be able to relax a bit.

I’ve been busy going round the country for the last two weeks as a facilitator in a fascinating piece of work. We are consulting with front line clinical staff and managers in the National Health Service on the development of electronic patient records. I will write about this more on my Blog in the future once the position is clearer on the way this is all going.

Suffice to say I see a day, in the not too distant future, when we will all have access, and even perhaps ownership, of our own electronic health records – or at the very least a summary of the record.

Just at the moment all I want to do is 'chill out' as my kids would say and enjoy a restful weekend with Annie.

We may even enjoy a glass or two of Red wine.


David Wike said...

Interesting to see that you plan to write in the loo in future – not on the walls I trust! It is a while since we had one of your toilet articles! Will you be taking the red wine in there to chill out?

Not sure I want to see my patient records, and I certainly don’t want the rest of the country seeing them, which is quite likely given the track record of the current administration and their civil servants.

And I am wondering whether I want any more NHS initiatives until they can sort out the basics. Stop killing people by the thousands with MRSA and C Diff, then maybe start considering the merits of patient access to electronic records.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks David for spotting the deliberate mistake – now corrected :-)

The electronic notes debate is fascinating and merits a longer discussion. I share your worries about security of records but don’t imagine for one nanosecond records are safer in paper form. Many notes are accessed easily in the NHS by unauthorised staff and no-one really knows who reads notes- there just is no audit trail. Many paper notes are left in cars of doctors and nurses, notes are left lying around in offices and any idea that paper is safer is groundless. On balance having heard all the debates for the last two weeks in 9 different events round England I am in favour of the electronic record over the paper record for numerous reasons.

As regards sorting out the basics – I’m 100 % with you – you will recall in my book I said ‘the basics are the new cutting edge.

Ruth said...

Glad to hear you've had a busy week .. forgot to wish you well on the end of my last comment !

Looking forward to reading more information on EPR. In my corner Contactpoint shares similar security concerns at the moment.

Slightly off topic link, hope it's of interest. The news item is from Teachernet about the launch of a new NHS Career lesson plan resource for Secondary students ..

The Stepintothenhs website also looks good.

Have a wonderful & restful weekend.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Ruth

I plan to post something later this week about electronic patient records. There are certainly pros and cons – I come down in favour of an electronic system based, if nothing else, on patient safety grounds. More on that later.

The Teachernet site looks great. It is wonderful to know the NHS is being pro-active about career opportunities within the NHS. For so many years the NHS has been defensive. It is a fabulous organisation to work in and I am very proud of the 35 years I spent in the NHS. Working in the NHS was a privilege not a burden. The only reason I left was because I needed a change and I had become stale.

Mike Chitty said...

Have you explored the potetnial of automatic identification and data capture technologies (AIDC) in this field? There is a great AIDC centre based in Halifax at the Elsie Whitley Innovation centre where they have a superb mock up that shows the role of aidc technology in patient care.

In equal parts mindblowing and scary!

mike chitty said...

re my earlier comment web site is

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks for that Mike - I will take a look. I am not directly involved in the implemtation of the new elctronic systems but it is always educational to look at new options.

Mark JF said...

I think the electronic notes debate is a non-debate: if a patient requires treatment from a GP, then a hospital and then an out-patient clinic, it's barmy that we employ people to fax records around, file them, lose them etc when we could do it on one electronic system.

What does need debate is the security and confidentiality implications; where's the funding coming from because everyone uses different systems at the moment; who runs and owns the system; the fact that this really facilitates the mega-clinics so many people don't want; how else the data will be used - linked back to DHSS or Income Tax records etc?

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mark and thanks as always for your comments. I am totally with you. The case for the electronic record is won as far as I am concerned. It is a no brainer as they would say in the US. It will increase patient safety apart from all the efficiency improvements. Paper records mentality in 2008 is ancient! The security implications are the key issue and I am going to do my next simplicity posting on this subject because there are some trade offs about confidentiality that need to be considered.