09 January 2018

The future’s digital: our goals for 2018


Professor Maureen Baker


Happy New Year – I am really looking forward to taking PRSB's work forward in 2018 and want to share my thoughts with you as the year begins.

In the past 12 months we've seen huge strides in digital healthcare transformation, with new innovations including the launch of the NHS Digital Academy and exciting initiatives to build a digital workforce.

We've also seen progress in information sharing, as more and more health and care professionals begin to recognise how integral standards are to providing high quality, safe and efficient care for patients. Since I joined the Professional Record Standards Body at the end of last year, it's been fantastic to see some our core goals achieved. I'm proud to say that in the coming months, we will complete our full suite of standards for transfers of care. For us it's going to be a real landmark achievement that will ensure information is shared easily and quickly between professionals anywhere a person receives health or social care. Last year we published the updated e-discharge summary standard for patients leaving hospital, the emergency discharge standard, the mental health and crisis care standards, and the outpatient letters standard. And after the publication of the standard for clinical referrals, which we're expecting in spring, this important work will be complete.

While we've seen increased interest in the benefits of information sharing from health and care professionals, getting standards used in frontline services is still a big challenge for us. This year we hope to see some evidence of better outcomes for people who use services, as a result of using standards. Making the case for better safety and quality in health and care even stronger, it will definitely help to spread support for change far and wide. One of my main goals since joining has been to raise awareness about the importance of good information sharing. I want professionals to understand that it's so much more than a simple compliance exercise, it's just as important as diagnosis or medication for the delivery of good quality, safe care.

Another area we're keen to see change this year is around integration of different health and care services. As the number of people living with complex and long-term conditions continues to grow, they are being supported by numerous different services in both hospitals and the community. Good information sharing between these services is essential, and will ensure that both people who use services and their care professionals will have access to the right data at all times, to make informed decisions. In 2018 the PRSB standards for care plans and maternity records will be completed, helping to put people at the very forefront of their own care. As well as being able to see to their own records, it will ensure that all professionals involved in their care can also access their records to make better, personalised decisions about their care.

I'm really excited to be starting this year with your support and I hope we can make real strides in the development and implementation of better information sharing. If you'd like to get involved with our work, please contact info@theprsb.org for more information.

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