NHS Digital together with TPP and a system integrator have developed an interoperability infrastructure based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) to exchange first aid reports, discharge letters and outpatient reports with general practitioners.
The first trial took place at Dorset County Hospital where more than 4,000 messages were exchanged to four general practitioners’ offices.
The project was developed to share with general practitioners the information of their patients, to enable them to track events and changes that have occurred and to take the necessary actions.
For example, the system allows general practitioners to update information on their medical records when a new or alternative drug has been prescribed to the patient, or to act on a request for advice or admission.
The system also notifies hospitals when messages have been delivered and actions have been taken. Currently, general practitioners manually enter the information from patients’ discharge letters into their medical records.
Andrew Meyer, NHS Digital’s Director of Platforms, said: “Improving the transfer of care between hospitals and primary care clinics is a vital step in improving patient care in different health and care settings. We have come a long way from the first days of sending discharge information by mail, fax and even email to now, to provide a standardized and reliable service. Hospital staff can be reassured that the messages they send to medical clinics have been delivered, read and implemented without having to call.“