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Apprehension looms large over patient record system

The novel patient record system, designed to connect up 50 million patients' records, and the largest in civil projects, seems to be in trouble, according to reports. // The National Audit Office has been asked to check the veracity of reports doing the rounds that the new NHS system might have thrown patients records off gear, creating inconvenience and grave consequences to patients. The switch to the new system, a modernization plan for the NHS, started off in December last year.

According to reports, Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopedic Centre witnessed severe difficulties when it changed to the £6.2bn patient record system. There were also apprehensions that patient records were lost in the system. The report claims, "Major configuration and software problems led to significant operational disruption, and potential risk to patient safety, business continuity, staff morale and public and patient confidence”

But NHS has denied such reports. NHS Connecting for Health, spokeswoman said, that there has never been a compromise in patient safety but agreed to the minimal amount of inconvenience caused to patients and staff. She said, "A variety of mechanisms have ensured that functions have continued and patients' progress through the system has been monitored. Reporting a serious untoward incident does not mean individual patients were at risk and they were not in this case. It was a general alert in line with proper NHS process. The trust, NHS Connecting for Health and Fujitsu, the local service provider, are fully engaged in addressing the issues. Intensive work by all parties has already resolved the vast majority of issues raised and we fully expect the remaining small number of concerns to be resolved in the near future."

It is envisaged that when the system becomes fully operational, it will enable electronic record for 50 million NHS patients along with linking more than 30,000 Gp’s with 300 hospitals.


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