Information requirements for pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services
The aim of this project was to identify the information in care records that should be available to professionals working in pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services, and consult on whether the PRSB core information standard for shared care records would meet their needs, or whether additional standards should be developed to support care in these settings.
Research was undertaken to understand what information is currently available in these care settings, followed by a survey of people to understand their experience of how information is/should be shared with community care professionals. Several online workshops were held with multidisciplinary professionals, people who use services and suppliers and stakeholders to test whether the core information standard would provide the information required for care, or whether additional information or in fact new standards were needed.
To provide clinically safe, high quality and effective care, all care professionals need access to accurate, up-to-date information about the people in their care and their history. Current systems don’t always allow easy access to information between health and care professionals working in pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services. In particular, professionals working in these care settings often struggle to query or access the information they need to provide joined-up, holistic care.
The reasons for this are multifaceted and include problems with digital tools that are outdated and don’t interact with one another, resulting in staff having to invent time-consuming workarounds or work without information about care in other settings. There has been no standardised way to share clinical information in people’s care records between settings and services, which in turn leads to the risk that care may be poorer in quality and outcomes less good.
Developing a standard or standards for sharing information with these five community services will ensure that professionals working in these care settings have access to the right information at the right time to provide clinically safe and effective care, subject to appropriate information governance controls.
Using the core information standard in these settings should improve care and outcomes for people and it should improve the working lives of professionals who won’t need to create workarounds to ensure they have a complete picture of a person’s current and relevant care history, before starting treatment.
Find out more: Digital Community Pharmacy, Optometry, Dentistry, Ambulance, Community Care (PODAC) Programme – NHS Digital
The PRSB produced the core information standard for shared care records in 2019 to make sure all relevant information about a person’s health and social care could be accessed, subject to appropriate information governance controls, to support safe and effective care.
PRSB was asked by the NHS in 2022 to help accelerate the sharing of health and care information in the five community care settings listed above, by validating the use of PRSB’s core information standard for shared care records for this purpose, producing new standards where needed and assessing whether or not GP records could be used to speed up access to the right information.
The objectives of this project were to:
- Review the applicability of the existing PRSB core information standard for each care setting of PODAC
- Develop new standards if the PRSB core information standard was not the appropriate standard
- Map the standards to the contents of the GP record to identify opportunities to speed up implementation of the standards using the GP record
Findings and report
- The key finding of the project is that the PRSB core information standard is the appropriate standard for all five care settings, with appropriate information governance access controls.
- Extensive consultation, evidence gathering and comparative research identified a wide range of recommendations and concluded that no additional data items were identified or requested for any of the five care settings.
- No changes to the existing PRSB core information standard: Version 2.0 would be required to enable implementations to begin in these five care settings.
- There is overwhelming support from those who participated in the delivery groups and workshops for the introduction of the PRSB core information standard, with widespread agreement that doing so is important for the benefit of both care professionals and those accessing care.
- Implementation projects must include review of processes, training and governance to maintain and ensure safe, effective and authorised use of shared data.
Full report: Use of the PRSB core information standard in community settings
Core information standard
This standard brings together the main components and covers the broadest range of uses of health and care information.
Podcast: Implementing standards
Dr Afzal Chaudhry speaks to PRSB about the positive changes he has seen as a result of using standards.