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South coast hospital trust at 'forefront' of online patient record technology

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A trust in Southampton has become the first to offer all patients their hospital records online, as part of an initiative that sees staff making upcoming appointments, test results and consultant advice, available to patients electronically.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) is now offering every patient the chance to access and manage their records via a website developed by IT experts and clinicians at the trust and supplier, Get Real Health.

“It gives patients much more control over their healthcare and better accessibility to their clinical teams”

Adrian Byrne

The My medical record (MyMR) gives patients the opportunity to access parts of their record from home or on the go and means that staff can make information which is held in clinical admin systems, available electronically in an instant, noted the trust.

The initiative also provides patients with the chance to communicate with nurses and doctors without having to visit a hospital.

In addition, the website allows patients to keep daily diaries on their health and upload data from devices used at home, including blood pressure, blood sugar and Fitbit activity.

MyMR was first launched at the trust in 2012, where it was piloted among patients with inflammatory bowel disease before being extended to cover cancer and children’s services.

In 2014, the website was then adapted and launched at four other UK hospitals to evaluate its effectiveness as a self-management tool for prostate cancer patients.

With more than 3,500 patients registered across the four hospitals, UHS said the website had helped remove the need for 20,000 outpatient appointments to date.

“We have a very exciting year ahead with more trusts lined up to adopt MyMR and UHS patients are at the forefront”

Matthew Beedle

So far, MyMR which was named best use of IT to support treatment and care within the NHS in 2016, is now used by 14,000 patients over 10 hospitals nationwide, with more set to join this year, it noted.

Adrian Byrne, director of informatics at UHS, said: “MyMR really is leading the way in working towards a virtual hospital environment which gives patients much more control over their healthcare and better accessibility to their clinical teams and health record.”

“We are extremely proud of the impact this development is having not only in Southampton and the surrounding area, but across the country at a time when the digital agenda forms an integral part of the plan for the NHS over the next 10 years,” he added.

The news comes soon after health secretary, Matt Hancock, called for the health service to use modern and secure forms of communication and scrap pen and paper, as part of his tech vision, as previously reported by Nursing Times.

Matthew Beedle, MyMR product manager at UHS, said: “We want to sign up any patient who has a recent, ongoing or upcoming relationship with us as these patients will get the most benefit out of MyMR.”

“We have a very exciting year ahead with more trusts lined up to adopt MyMR and UHS patients are at the forefront in terms of access to this technology,” he added.

UHS is one of 16 national centres of excellence – known as global digital exemplars – selected to lead pioneering informatics projects to improve safety, quality and efficiency that could go on to be rolled out nationwide.

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