Health Secretary sees benefits of access to patient record at pharmacy visit

Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, Shona Robison MSP, visited Davidson’s Chemist in Panmuirefield Village to see the benefits of pharmacists having access to patient records and results using the Clinical Portal, which is currently being piloted in NHS Tayside.
Pharmacist, Alasdair Shearer, and Superintendent Pharmacist for Davidson’s, Karen Gordon, demonstrated how the Clinical Portal utilises locally shared information to improve communication and to facilitate better and safer care supported by a strong governance framework.
The Clinical Portal enables the pharmacist access to a range of information from a variety of systems used by primary and secondary care, allowing access to:
  • Clinical communications – clinic letters, electronic hospital discharges.
  • A&E letters.
  • Admissions and appointments information.
  • Latest lab test results.
  • The Emergency Care Summary.
Alasdair talked through with the Cabinet Secretary how he and other colleagues across Tayside are accessing information to:
  • Confirm medication to issue a CPUS in the out-of-hours period.
  • Check test results.
  • Resolve medication queries.
  • Provide information for CMS medication reviews.
  • Facilitate appropriate prescribing.
Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, Shona Robison MSP, said: “I was delighted to visit Davidson’s Chemist in Panmuirefield Village. We fully recognise that secure electronic access to patient information is a key enabler of more effective clinical decision making and person-centred care. The Scottish Government is currently exploring how we can best support health boards across Scotland to improve such access for Community Pharmacists. This is part of an integrated digital approach to safer medicines that combines our eHealth Strategy and Prescription for Excellence. The outcomes of the current pilot in Tayside will be extremely valuable in informing this process.”
Alex MacKinnon, Director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, said: “I was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, Shona Robison MSP, took time out of her busy diary to see the real impact on patient safety and care of pharmacists having access to patients’ records.
“I would like to advocate that we build on the success of this pilot so that, with patient consent, all pharmacists directly involved in patient care have full read and write access to the patient health record. This would be in the interest of high quality, safe and effective patient care and the Society would be happy to work with the Scottish Government and Health Boards in making this a reality for our essential health workforce in our communities.”
NHS Tayside gave Clinical Portal access to 14 community pharmacies in March 2015, followed by another 13 in May and in June. A full service evaluation is being undertaken by Robert Gordon University.

The RPS has campaigned for pharmacist access to the patient’s record for many years and last year launched a briefing to support decision makers.