Scottish healthcare professionals access patients’ Key Information Summary through clinical portal

Health boards can now view key information through a single screen

A third of Scotland’s NHS health boards can now view more comprehensive information about their patients’ condition, treatment and choices following the integration of the Key Information Summary (KIS) with their clinical portal.

The integration will enable organisations that are part of Scotland’s South-East Consortium which includes NHS Lothian, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Fife, and NHS Borders, to improve communication between primary, secondary and out-of-hours care and enable key information and patient wishes to be more easily and quickly available to the appropriate healthcare professional.

The clinical portal, provided by Capita Managed IT Solution’s and Harris Healthcare, has already brought together disparate electronic information held within an acute care setting such as treatment plans, clinical letters, results and observations into a single, intuitive screen.

The latest development means that the entire KIS created by a patient’s GP can be viewed seamlessly alongside this information, providing nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals with all the information they need to make the best possible decisions for their patients.

This development demonstrates how easy it can be to improve the patient experience by sharing information about their current medical status and, of equal importance, ensuring they have choice through having their care-related wishes recognised

The KIS, which is now in use across all GP practices in Scotland, contains information including patient demographics, details of staff involved in the care of the patient, main diagnosis and current issues, carer and support details and recommended actions for out-of-hours clinicians and is primarily designed to support patients with long-term conditions, mental health issues and special needs.

Jonathan Cameron, KIS programme manager NHS National Services Scotland IT, said: “We have already seen numerous instances where enhanced access to KIS is providing significant benefits, particularly to those patients with complex care needs.

“For example, a KIS was recently created for a patient who suffered several complex health issues. The availability of such comprehensive information about the patient being made quickly and easily available resulted in much more coordinated and streamlined care."

NHS Lothian, the first health board to access the information through the portal, believes that the integration has the potential to reduce the need for unnecessary or repeated treatment, reduce length of stay, as well as significant patient safety benefits such as being able to see the medication a patient is taking when they arrive as an outpatient.

Kelly Smith, patient portal project manager at NHS Lothian, said: “Being able to access patients’ details at the click of a button is a big step forward for clinicians and a much more quicker and efficient way for those involved in a patient’s care to access and share data. Allowing clinicians across care settings to better understand the complete picture of a patient’s medical history and care is an essential component of an integrated health service and will undoubtedly help to enable continuity of care.”

David Lawson, project manager at Harris Healthcare, added: “We are keen to support Scotland’s eHealth strategy. Integrating KIS with the portal will help to improve the availability of appropriate information for healthcare workers and the tools to use and communicate that information effectively to improve the quality of patient care.

“This development demonstrates how easy it can be to improve the patient experience by sharing information about their current medical status and, of equal importance, ensuring they have choice through having their care-related wishes recognised.”

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