Doctors and healthcare professionals in the Penwith area will soon start an innovative data sharing pilot project, using Microtest’s Guru. Dr Matthew Boulter, GP Partner at the Alverton Practice in Penzance, is heading up the project on behalf of the local GP commissioning group. Local out of Hours GP services and doctors at the West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance will be able to directly access patients’ GP records of all the local practices when out of hours. Microtest is one of the UK’s top four GP system suppliers and has been providing clinical systems to the primary care sector for since 1979. Guru allows two-way remote access to GP patient records held within Microtest’s Evolution system and can be used on mobile devices and laptops.
The project team has worked hard to provide a data sharing solution, while ensuring that the correct safeguards around patient confidentiality, data protection and information sharing are in place. Dr Boulter explains: “As GPs, we frequently put careful plans in place to hopefully prevent patients having to be admitted to hospital. It’s very frustrating when we find out that over a weekend they have presented to A&E or to our GP out of hours service, and ended up being admitted, when we feel that this could have been avoided if our practice notes had been available. We are very happy for our OOH colleagues and our local hospital doctors to access our notes in order to enhance the care of the patient and to prevent non-essential hospital admissions”.
Dr Boulter adds: “We see the project as ‘common sense’ and we are really enthusiastic about starting. Microtest have been fantastic; adjusting the software to suit our needs and to address issues raised by GPs. The software is impressive. It includes pop up flash screens that cope with patient consent issues and enabling the patient to agree to their notes being shared (or not). Practices get a report on a weekly basis of who has accessed information and we have an agreement drawn up with our local CCG.”
Chris Netherton, Managing Director of Microtest said: “We are so pleased to be working on this innovative project which will help enhance patient safety and cut costs.”