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New system alerts GPs to Covid-19 test results

20/07/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

NHS Digital has developed a system to alert patients and their GPs separately of results of Covid-19 tests.

Laptop and stethoscope with notepad on desk

It has worked with EMIS Health on using the company’s Keystone software, which provides translation and messaging of clinical and administrative data, to enable NHS Business Service Authority to pass on the results to the patient by text and email, while feeding them into GP records.

The service applies to all tests booked through the nhs.uk/coronavirus or gov.uk portals and carried out at testing centres or with at-home testing kits, and where it is possible to identify the recipient’s NHS number.

The results will be displayed in patient records in a way that makes them easily distinguishable from other types of test results.

The alert to patients will also include advice on what to do if symptoms get worse plus links to national guidance.

NHS Digital said that patients will not need to contact their GP practice.

Keeping informed

Richard Ashcroft, programme director at NHS Digital, said: “We have worked quickly to ensure this technology can be put in place so that GPs are kept informed about coronavirus tests being undertaken by their patients, while making sure it is done simply, with as little additional admin for GP practice staff as possible. We would like to thank EMIS Health for working with us to deliver this at speed using their Keystone product.

“Many patients would regard it as a given that their test results should automatically appear in their GP medical record, but the technological work behind the scenes with a brand new system such as that delivering the testing programme is considerable.”

Image by Sergio Santos, CC BY 2.0

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