Professional Record Standards Body - July/August 2020
Survey closes this week: Don't miss out on having your say on health and social care

More than 800 people have contributed to the surveys, which will help us to enhance the lives of people using social care and health services. Our survey is open until midnight on Sunday 2 August so if you use services, care for someone who uses them or work in health and care, we would love to hear your views

So far a wide range of professionals have helped to support our work, as well as people getting support in care homes or at home. Their needs are at the heart of plans to connect and streamline social care and health information, and their voices will play a crucial role in developing the standards to support this.  

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New: PRSB launches new project to standardise pathology test results

PRSB is beginning a new project on pathology to gather feedback on the feasibility of implementing a standards-based pathology messaging system that can command the confidence of clinicians and other users of pathology information. 

The standards would be based on the clinical terminology, SNOMED CT, to define test requests and results, and machine readable standards for units of measure. These would all be shared between systems digitally using FHIR (fast healthcare interoperability resources) messaging. 

 The current system for requesting and reporting results varies widely from one laboratory to another as different laboratories use different test lists and different units of measure to report results. For clinicians this can mean interpreting five results for the same type of test differently because five laboratories use different testing methods and report measurements differently. The wide variation can lead to misinterpretation and errors. 

The new pathology project will inform how these standards can be used to replace existing pathology messaging systems for primary care, in the first instance. In the longer-term this work will inform how standards in pathology are implemented across all areas of health and care.

For more information on the project, please contact  

Latest: Mental health project enters second stage
Community mental health plans are crucial for people living with severe mental health problems. If the information about their ongoing support can be shared digitally, it will mean that people are  able to engage more in their own care plans  and work with professionals to  improve both their physical and mental  wellbeing.
To help facilitate this, the PRSB is evaluating what information is needed in a community mental health  care  plan  to improve care from both a patient and professional experience.   

We have  analysed  the digital care and support plan that the PRSB produced in 2018, to see if it will meet the needs of a community mental health plan. Early research has identified some additional information which may be required, and we will review this in more detail.

The next stage of the project will be to  consult on the care plan and additional information with people who use services, clinicians and professionals and others with an interest in improving health and care for people with long-term mental health needs. Our aim is to update the digital care and support plan so that it meets the needs of people using community mental health care services.   
Being digital ready: why standards are the answer

A new report by the National Audit Office, which was completed before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, has highlighted some of the key challenges we face in getting the NHS and social care fully digitised. 

In this blog our chair Professor Maureen Baker addresses the core problems and explains how the PRSB can play a key role in trying to develop a more connected and safer system.

“We fully back the report’s recommendations that standards for information sharing must be set and adhered to by national bodies”
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Help support services during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 crisis, we've seen numerous changes in the health and care system. Organisations  are now encouraging people to share their experiences around healthcare choices and the way in which their care has been managed throughout this period. Find out more from PIF and Healthwatch.

Covid choices: What concerns me? PIF survey launched today

The Patient Information Forum (PIF) is running a survey on the health and care choices we are making during the pandemic. It asks how people are balancing the need to have new or ongoing health conditions treated and managed, versus the risks of contracting coronavirus.

The aim of the survey is to identify the factors important to patients’ decision-making. This will help charities and the NHS produce the information patients need to make crucial decisions about health and well-being.

The survey is hosted on Survey Monkey and is anonymous. It can be accessed here It takes five minutes to complete and the closing date is 6th August 2020. You can also share via online networks using the hashtag #CovidChoices. PIF has received partial funding from Norgine, an existing PIF industry partner, to support the project. 

Healthwatch urges people to share their experiences of hospital discharge during pandemic
During the early stages of the pandemic the NHS issued guidance to support a faster discharge process from hospitals. This was designed to help people who are medically fit to be able to leave hospital and free up at least 15,000 beds to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients. But how has this worked for patients, their loved ones and the care sector?
The process of moving between hospital and community-based care, wherever that may be, is an important part of a person's overall experience. In the worst-case scenario, if a person is discharged without the right information, they could end up being readmitted. In the best case scenario it is a smooth process and the person feels safe and secure.
Healthwatch wants to better understand your experiences of hospital discharge during the pandemic. They are inviting people to share their views and experiences online. Those who wish to get more information can also sign up for updates, which will keep people informed about how evidence will be used to influence changes in the system.  

There is a toolkit of resources available online for anyone who wishes to share the survey and help Healthwatch to improve future services.
How digital records can improve safety

Earlier this month,  Baroness  Cumberlege’s review, “First Do No Harm” presented a damning indictment of three medical treatments that thousands of women had complained about for years with little effect.  Despite women suffering from complications, it took a long time for the pieces of the puzzle to be put together and for these treatments to be properly investigated.

Our board member, Marlene Winfield, writes about the way in which standards, proper record keeping and surveillance could help us to spot problems sooner, recognising patterns of side effects and preventing harm to patients. 

“The report shows that we need to take more seriously the crucial role records and information sharing play in other aspects of care.  We need to work together to deliver a more joined-up, safer system of monitoring of medicines and medical devices.”   
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NHS Providers develops Digital Boards programme

NHS Providers has launched a new programme designed to support boards in leading the digital transformation agenda. Delivered in partnership with Public Digital and supported by Health Education England and NHSX as part of their Digital Readiness Programme, the Digital Boards programme is free and available to all provider trusts. It aims to build board understanding of the potential and implications of the digital agenda and increase the confidence and capability of boards. The three year programme can be accessed through board resources and regional events.  

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