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Scottish health board shares child care data



NHS Dumfries and Galloway is using a patient index system to identify and match records between organisations

A Scottish health board has begun to share patient data with the local council to support clinical and social care staff in providing care for children.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway also intends  to provide controlled access to staff from child protection, police, education and housing services.

The board has deployed NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) system to identify and match records on patients from different organisations. It said this can help clinicians and social workers make better decisions, and is in line with the Scottish Government’s getting it right for every child strategy, which aims for an integrated approach on supporting individual children.

The system can be accessed through existing clinical portals and provides a consolidated view of children under the health board’s care. It includes probability matching tools that make it possible to recognise the records on different systems for a patient.

Linking records

Graham Gault, general manager ICT at NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We now have a powerful and sophisticated tool to link children from records and datasets that use NHS numbers, social care numbers, police references, education references and any other type of identifier.

“We can now share relevant health information with partner organisations, where appropriate, using proper information governance protocols, so that the best decisions can be made, and the safest and most effective care delivered for children.

“By exploiting algorithms and probability matching tools in NextGate, we can link records in a way we have never done before.”

Image by Daniel Sone (photographer), public domain via Wikimedia Commons



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