The Great North Care Record, a collaboration between the £20m government funded Connected Health Cities programme and local NHS providers, is a new, more efficient way of sharing care information electronically across the region between authorised healthcare practitioners with the patient’s permission.
The Record is accessed around 25,000 times every month and its use is growing. It means potentially life-saving key information on patients’ health, such as diagnoses, medication, hospital admissions and treatments, can be shared securely in hospital emergency departments, out of hours and ambulance services almost instantaneously to help patients receive the care they need quicker.
Professor Joe McDonald, Consultant Psychiatrist at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Director at Connected Health Cities, said: “The Great North Care Record is a new approach which enables GP surgeries, hospitals and ambulance services to work as one at the point of need. This means medical professionals can now see patient records immediately, allowing them to make quicker and better clinical decisions, saving precious time, speeding up treatment and potentially saving patients’ lives.
“Historically, care records are like a jigsaw puzzle – with small bits of information held at the GP surgery, in A&E, on the ward but they don’t all work together. We have done lots of research with patients and many are surprised that this information is not already easily shared between organisations. The Great North Care Record makes everything come together to complete the picture for better patient care.”
Dr Phil Stamp, Accident and Emergency Consultant from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have seen real benefits since we implemented this shared health care record. We can now access key medical information about most patients arriving in our Emergency Department. We know the information is up to date and it means that we can treat our patients more efficiently and safely.”
Currently, 96% of all GP surgery practices in the North East and North Cumbria are sharing information under the Great North Care Record.
Healthcare professionals ask patients for permission before they access their record and all patients can opt out of their medical information being shared if they would prefer.