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GP to advise on central records

Dr Shaun O'Hanlon's audit of his neighbouring practices showed GPs could miss out on thousands of pounds in quality pay because of omissions entering data into their computer system.

Dr O'Hanlon, a GP in Guildford, said up to 30 per cent of the 700 points for clinical indicators could be lost.

'People have only just opened their eyes to the quality framework,' he said. 'If you correct these simple things there's a lot of room for better quality of care and big income generation.

'It indicates how poor practices have been at recording information on their systems in the past.'

Even though systems flag up missing data, GPs need to be proactive in filling in the blanks even if they are not with the patient, he added.

Six potential gaps in data

·Even if a patient has a code stating 'never smoked', if they are then diagnosed with a particular condition, smoking status must be recorded again.

·Smoking status must also be recorded every 15 months for

14- to 19-year-olds with asthma.

·Even very elderly patients must be recalled for lipid checks and microalbuminuria screening unless an exception can be justified.

·COPD diagnoses must be accompanied by spirometry tests, even if a patient was diagnosed with emphysema or bronchitis 20 years ago.

·Results of foot and eye checks carried out by third party chiropodists and opticians on diabetes patients must be transferred from paper records.

·Ensure the correct 'resolved' codes are entered so the patient is taken off disease registers.

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