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GP Connect helps digital transformation at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

See how GP Connect has helped Cambridge University Hospitals' digital transformation by giving authorised access to GP patient records.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) is one of the largest and best-known trusts in the country, delivering high-quality patient care through its two hospitals - Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie. CUH is a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions and a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation. CUH is a key partner in Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP), one of only six academic health science centres in the UK and is at the heart of the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC), which brings together on one site world-class biomedical research, patient care and education.

About Cambridge University Hospitals’ digital transformation

In October 2014, the Trust implemented a fully integrated electronic patient record system (Epic) across both of its hospitals as part of its award-winning eHospital digital transformation programme. This brings together all clinical and administrative information relating to a patient in one place, recorded in real time, using integrated computers, mobile and handheld devices. This work has improved quality, reduced duplication and eliminated unnecessary delays to patient care (99 per cent of all clinical activity recorded and accessed in Epic Trust-wide).

It is used in inpatient and outpatient areas across all major clinical areas including the emergency department, wards, critical care, outpatient clinics, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services. Typically, there are 3,400 concurrent clinical staff accessing the system at peak times. Clinical decision support within the system supports clinical practice and improves safety.

CUH was the first NHS trust to embark upon and implement a digital programme of this kind or scale (eHospital). In 2015 the Trust became the first in the UK to validate at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 6 within a year of implementing its Epic system and supporting technologies – moving from unofficial EMRAM Stage 1 status.

In October 2018 it become the first UK trust to validate against the more stringent EMRAM Stage 6 criteria, and on 16 October 2020 became the UK’s first EMRAM Stage 7 trust. 

About GP Connect at CUH

The GP Connect Access Record: HTML button in CUH’s Epic system enables authorised access to patients’ GP information such as:

  • conditions
  • medications
  • allergies
  • referrals
  • immunisations
  • observations

This covers patients registered with a GP practice within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG.

In addition to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, further development has since taken place over the past couple months to incorporate information from patients’ GP practices across Suffolk & North Essex CCG, Hertfordshire CCG, and Norfolk & Waveney CCG.

The structure of the information retrieved is determined by the GP Connect API and reflects the information structure sent by the GP practice.

On average the Trust sees 2,000 unique patient requests per week via its GP Connect Access Record: HTML button in Epic.

The addition of GP Connect to CUH’s Epic system has greatly improved access to patient information which means clinicians can make more informed decisions on how to deliver care.

I have a patient whose vaccination record I have been trying to get for 9 years! I clicked on GP Connect within his chart in Epic and now I have it in my immunisations tab

"I find GP Connect really useful. The data contained within it includes the number of times prescriptions have been issued, as well as last issued date, which is particularly useful for discussions with patients and when reviewing compliance. The data is also really clear and helpful as I can review a patient’s use of prednisolone for exacerbations of chronic lung disease; information which can support decision making with regards to the need for prednisolone weaning regimes. The ease of access to GP Connect through our Epic electronic patient record system also encourages a cross-match between GP and Trust documented allergies – again extremely helpful to pharmacists to be able to rationalise allergies/intolerances/contraindications to potentially open up therapy options for patients if drug reactions had previously been misclassified. The available data also helps to provide clarity over a patients vaccination details."

Kate Stopher

Lead Pharmacist for Medicine, Cambridge University Hospitals


"The introduction of GP Connect through our Epic electronic patient record system at Cambridge University Hospitals has been invaluable in supporting my work. It enables me to quickly confirm a patient’s regular medications and allergies, thereby reducing the time taken to check with GP surgeries - through a separate system (SystmOne) - about regular medication being taken by patients that are admitted to our hospitals. For my outpatient work, access to the GP Connect summary helps me to identify medications, including accurate dosing information to assist with drug-drug interaction checks, and wider checks, of patient suitability to begin hepatitis C treatment. As an independent prescriber I am delighted with the support it offers me for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG patients."

Paul Selby

Specialist Pharmacist for Hepatitis C and Hepatology & Eastern Liver Network ODP Pharmacist, Cambridge University Hospitals

Last edited: 18 February 2021 12:03 pm