Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lost Medical Notes

    Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being taken to reduce the incidence of patients‘ medical notes being mislaid. [19182]

    Ms Blears: The NHS Plan, “Information for Health” and Building the Information Core made a clear commitment to providing electronic records for everyone in England, the aim being that, over time, on-line patient records will be accessible by all members of the national health service family such as family doctors, hospitals, NHS Direct, the ambulance service and patients. Electronic records play a crucial role in underpinning modern person based services.

    “Information for Health” set out a number of local and national targets around the development of electronic records (Electronic Patient Records (EPRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs)). The development of organisational based EPRs will ensure all healthcare professionals involved in the provision of care for an individual have secure access to his/her full electronic medical record. This means that data will be entered once and available to all professionals in a format that best suits their practice. The record will minimise repeated collection of the same information, eradicate illegible writing, and most important of all avoid records being misplaced or lost. Similar electronic records are being implemented in primary and community care.

    The successful implementation of EPRs in acute, primary care and social care environments will be a pre-requirement to successful implementation of the first generation EHR by the end of 2005. The EHR will be a summary of the data contained in the numerous organisational-based EPRs (hospitals, primary care, community, etc.).

    8 Jan 2002 : Column: 613-4W