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NICE guideline alerts could be integrated with clinical IT

NICE is looking to develop a tool for GP IT systems that would pop up with the latest information on a condition without interrupting consultation.

Speaking at the Best Practice conference in Birmingham today, chair Professor David Haslam said the clinical excellence body was already in discussions with IT suppliers about the tool, which would ‘ergonomically’ fit the way GPs work.

Professor Haslam explained that the constant evolution of medical evidence and NICE guidelines meant it was increasingly diffiicult for GPs to stay up to date.

He added that the system would not have a rigid template as this would ‘completely disrupt’ consultations.

Professor Haslam told delegates: ‘What I do believe, and I’ve talked to computer companies about this, you’re about to treat someone for hypertension, you’re the verge of pressing the key to print a prescription and the computer politely coughs and says “excuse me Dr Haslam, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to think about something critical that you’ve missed?”

‘I think that’s entirely doable, even if I’m slightly facetious in how I’ve said that. But that’s actually the aim, so it ergonomically fits with the way we work, and we are actually talking to companies about how we might do that.’

Speaking to Pulse he added: ‘It’s right at the beginning of discussions. But it’s absolutely an aspiration, for the very reason that: how on earth can GPs cope with the constant “what do we believe this month about the treatment of hypertension?”.

‘Because it genuinely does change and producing a document on a website isn’t much help in the middle of surgery. So we need some way that this will blend with the systems. So a long way off, but part of the aspiration very much so.’