To support the delivery of high quality care, there's an increasing need to share information more efficiently and consistently across health and social care. The Transfer of Care Initiative aims to improve patient care by promoting and encouraging the use of professional and technical document standards.
Using standards in electronic healthcare records allows clinical information to be recorded, exchanged and accessed consistently to deliver high quality care to patients.
Other benefits include:
- improved patient care and safety due to the availability of complete, accurate and timely information
- reduction in the risk of missing or inappropriate critical clinical information
- reduction in costs by removing the administrative task of correcting information and eliminating paper exchange
To support this care integration, the timescale for the production and transmission to GPs of letters (where clinically required) following clinic attendance is reducing. The current requirement is to produce the letter within 10 days of attendance.
From the 1 October 2018, the Outpatient Clinic Letter must:
- conform to the clinical record standard headings
- be sent nationwide (in and out of catchment areas within England) using any direct electronic transmission including proprietary solutions, except email, which will no longer be allowed
- use a nationally specified structured message capable of carrying narrative, SNOMED CT and dm+d encoded information
These requirements are detailed in the NHS England Standard Contract Technical Guidance, section 39.22.