Community pharmacy and electronic health records

In community pharmacy Pharmacy Medicine Record (PMR) systems store patient data, such as a discussion about the interactions of medicines. However this data is not part of a single patient electronic health record shared by other healthcare professional which a Summary Care Record (SCR) is.

An SCR is an extract of information from the patient record held by the GP. It was initially used in hospitals particularly to aid medicines reconciliation. Fundamental to the principles of SCR, is informed consent of the patient to have data accessed for their direct medical care by a pharmacy Professional.

Pharmacy Voice worked closely with HSCIC during 2015 on its Poof of Concept for SCR to be used in community pharmacy. Following this successful work SCR access is being rolled out to all community pharmacies in England.

In April 2016 the 1,000th community pharmacy in England went live with SCR. There are around 10,500 left to go live. Pharmacy Voice is encouraging pharmacy owners to make the most of SCR access, which aids patient safety, and can save people waiting around for answers that can simply be looked-up digitally.

We believe SCR could be enhanced – particularly by offering read and write access rather than read-only so that community pharmacists can provide useful information for GPs. Pharmacy Voice continues to work towards our longer term aim of securing a shared care record covering both health and social care.

Further ways SCR could be enhanced include allowing community pharmacy to contribute influenza vaccination information back to the GP system, and record patient requirements such as ‘large print’. It could be integrated into the PMR system, so the patient’s SCR could be accessed with a single click and more importantly, without having to retype the patient details.

In January 2016, Pharmacy Voice published a briefing on the role of the Privacy Officer in the governance of shared care records, such as the Summary Care Record (SCR). To view this briefing, please visit the ‘Resources’ section of our website.