£7 Million Electronic Patient Records System Launched in Dorset

A new electronic record sharing system is to be launched in Dorset.

The Dorset Care Record (DCR) will cost £7 million and enable the healthcare system in the county to draw together information from hospitals, GPs, community teams and local councils.

This will enable the authority in the area to establish a detailed impression of the medical care history of an individual patient, with their needs consequently more holistically understood.

The DCR has been provided by global healthcare company Orion Health and led by Dorset County Council.

And the new system will be delivered through an extremely secure computer network, with a potential for those patients who do not wish to be included to opt out of the arrangement.

Health bosses in the region intends to rollout the new system in Waterloo, with the first phase including basic information from GP, acute hospitals and community systems.

Part of the £7.8m five year contract has come from the NHS England Integrated Digital Care Fund, with additional funding provided by partner organisations.

While privacy campaigners tend to be critical of the concept of an electronic patient record system, health and social care organisations believe that the establishment of an electronic record system is essential.

Additionally, national guidance already exists stating that the NHS should have established such a system by end of the decade.

The DCR system has been supported by organisations throughout the region.

These include NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dorset County Hospital, Poole Hospital, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Dorset HealthCare.

Support has also been proffered by Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole.

Phil Richardson, director of design and transformation at NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, believes that the new system will enable healthcare services in the region to be more joined-and collaborative.

“Sharing appropriate information electronically to a single place will offer direct access for authorised health and social care professionals to provide as full a picture as possible of people’s history, needs, support and service contacts.”

While Dorset County Council’s chief executive, Debbie Ward, Believe that the system has the potential to revolutionise healthcare in Dorset.

“The DCR represents a really exciting approach to digital engagement with people across the county and is a key element of our wider ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ to improve the treatment of people’s health and reduce inequalities. It will make more efficient use of public money and in time, the DCR will offer people access to view and contribute to their own record.”

Health problems and diagnoses, prescribed drugs, blood tests and e-ray results, hospital discharge letters and agreed care plans are all included in the new system, while it is intended eventually to share data from the DCR with other health and care organisations.

Stringent security and sharing criteria will also be put in place in order to guarantee patient data.


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