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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP practices told to review 44,000 patient records after data loss glitch

GPs are set to have to review tens of thousands of patient records following a problem where dates and times of entries were removed.

Over 2,500 practices have lost patient data including read codes, vaccination information and pathology results due to a problem with importing records of returning patients.

The problem, which has impacted 44,104 records, has affected patients that were registered with SystmOne or EMIS practice, moved to a practice that does not use these systems and then moved back to a SystmOne or EMIS practice.

While the patients were registered away from the SystmOne or EMIS practice, patient data were entered in the other clinical system, which had no date and time associated with them.

Then when the patient returned to the SystmOne or EMIS practice, this data were not imported.

According to the BMA’s GP committee newsletter, the data loss affects all EMIS and SystmOne transfers of returning patients but not patient records on Vision or Microtest.

So far, 2,526 SystmOne practices have been affected, with 44,104 patient records impacted. Twelve practices have had over 100 patients affected.

GPC contract negotiator Dr Farah Jameel said there have been ‘no reported safety incidents’ as a result of the issues but ‘NHS Digital’s clinical safety team continues to review this incident’.

She said: ‘GPC is in active dialogue with NHS England and NHS Digital, receiving updated status reports as they come in. The workload implications for practices affected has been highlighted and is an area GPC is seeking resolution on.’

This comes after SystmOne updated its record-sharing feature following questions over whether GPs were in breach of data protection legislation after activating a record-sharing feature in the IT system.

How bad is the glitch?

So far, 2,526 SystmOne practices have been affected, with 44,104 patient records impacted. Twelve practices have had over 100 patients affected. On average, each patient has two entries missing from their record, but a maximum of 66 missing entries has been identified.

TPP was unable to comment but has issued an action plan for affected practices, sending GPs a list of their affected patients through a task on the system.

For practices that have had more than 10 patients affected, TPP will also highlight whose records need to be reviewed most urgently. The 12 practices with more than 100 patients affected will be contacted by TPP directly.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Can't see what point in reviewing records by GPs- won't make missing data appear, just takes us away from our already overstretched and more immediately pressing clinical workload. Not that there is anyone else to help sort out the mess of course, even if TPP and EMIs were to fund a team of nurses and or doctors to do this work not sure where they would find them.

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  • Think we should sue....

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  • It would be useful to know which system enables the entry of data without an associated date or time, the nature of this data (sounds serious if it includes Codes and immunisations) and whether it only arose after TPP changed its EDSM systems - as the article states. (if so, why are EMIS - X -EMIS transfers (presumably GP2GP) affected?

    I agree with the previous commentators: are the practices having to troll through computer printouts from system X practices to locate the missing data? And how will they be able to date it?

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  • In emis you can - or could ( i havent done it lately) add a nk date.....

    Is the audit trail intact for the date the data was entered as opposed to the date on which x is said to have occurred?

    The only time i can think it would matter is vaccine dates if they time expire? Or i suppose suggesting who an abuser is likely to be? From the date of injury? Maybe for medicolegal purposes.....

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  • Once again a pointless exercise to pass the bug to the doctor and give the illusion the problem is solved or being dealt with. Tell the pateint the truth and encourage class action.

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