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GPs to share medical records through electronic gateway

A greater number of GPs are set to share medical records, discharge summaries and clinical documents with other providers in the NHS, as a further two major software suppliers have signed up to an NHS-wide electronic gateway.

Developers are working to make TPP’s SystmOne and Microtest’s Evolution software compatible with the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG), a secure gateway for exchanging clinical data. The MIG already facilitates data sharing for GPs using the EMIS and INPS software systems.

Healthcare Gateway - a joint venture company formed by EMIS Group plc and INPS, which developed the MIG - said that GPs will be able to share care records, outpatient documents and discharge summaries with other providers such as those in community, hospital and A&E settings.

The MIG can also be used for viewing records on chronic disease record, medication and child health immunisation.

Meanwhile, TPP is also rolling out a new model for sharing patient information between SystmOne users called ‘The Enhanced Data Sharing model’. Approved by Connecting for Health for full rollout, it means patients can choose who can see their information.

Peter Anderson, managing director at Healthcare Gateway, said: ‘This major development will establish the MIG as a major platform for enabling joined up care in the NHS via patients’ cradle-to-grave GP records. We believe this marks a significant milestone in the Government’s “connect all” strategy, to enable clinicians across the NHS to provide safer, more efficient care through cutting edge technology.

‘Our strategic focus since we set up two years ago has been “many-to-many connectivity” – engaging with third party suppliers to join up different clinical systems to the huge benefit of patients, and this is now being realised across the NHS. We know from existing projects that the MIG enables healthcare providers to provide high quality clinical care, and frees them from paperwork to concentrate on their patients.’

Dr Paul Cundy, chair of the GPC’s IT subcommittee said making SystmOne and Evolution compatible with the MIG was ‘good news’ .

‘It’s an established product that seems to work’ he said. He added that TPP’s enhanced data sharing model was a ‘vast improvement’.