New standard on pharmacy/GP data sharing

A new professional standard sets out how community pharmacies and GP surgeries share clinical information gathered from patients during the provision of services such as vaccinations and minor ailment consultations. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society says the data gathered through the standard will "demonstrate the value of pharmacists’ professional input".

The standard details what information should be recorded about these services. This information is expected to be used for service planning, commissioning and public health initiatives.

The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) and NHS Digital published the standard recently. NHS Digital says it is expected to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety, as well as reducing administrative workload.

Pharmacies and GP surgeries using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) – a standard governing the exchange of healthcare information so that information generated by one system can be read and understood by another – can implement the new standard.

Stephen Goundrey-Smith, PRSB advisory board member for the RPS, said: “Pharmacists are offering an increased range of services. As these services expand further, it will become increasingly important for pharmacists to share vital information about patient care with GPs.

“By doing this digitally, we can ensure that care professionals have timely access to relevant information, leading to better, safer and more personalised care.

“This sharing of data will also demonstrate the value of pharmacists’ professional input into patient care.”

Dr Vishen Ramkisson, senior clinical lead for Medicines and Pharmacy at NHS Digital, said: “The data standard is the first step towards ensuring relevant information about services provided by community pharmacies can be shared digitally with other health professionals so that patients’ health records are complete and comprehensive.”

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