Improving access to electronic patient records in secondary care: A quality improvement report

Charlie Hall, Carey Lunan, Anne Finucane, Juliet A Spiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Effective communication of anticipatory care planning (ACP) discussions between patients and general practitioners across different healthcare settings is vital. In Scotland, the Key Information Summary (KIS) is a new piece of software that allows clinical data for selected patients to be shared electronically across the wider National Health Service from the primary care record. This can include details of ACP discussions and decisions. The KIS is now routinely accessible in secondary care and is available through the hospital electronic record in two formats (abbreviated and full versions).

The primary aim of this project was to significantly improve clinician access to the full KIS record within secondary care.

Four Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles were undertaken in total to improve access to the full KIS between October 2014 and March 2016 in the Medical Admissions Unit of a Scottish hospital.

Baseline data showed poor awareness and use of available KIS information by clinicians for patients admitted to hospital. Most were unaware the KIS was available and only 19% had seen the KIS for their patient. Where a KIS existed for a patient, clinicians felt the information contained within it was useful in 75% of cases, and one in every five KIS could alter clinical management. Data collection following the first 3 PDSA cycles revealed a significant increase in access to the full KIS after 5 months (from 4% to 45%). However 1 year on after after a fourth PDSA cycle to implement sustainable interventions this level of access was not maintained.

Reasons for these results are discussed, as well as limitations to certain interventions. Access to the full KIS at the point of hospital admission can be significantly improved using a quality improvement approach. Improved access to this information may influence the clinical management of selected patients. However sustainable, system-wide strategies are needed to maintain these changes in the longer term.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open Quality
Issue number2
Early online date29 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving access to electronic patient records in secondary care: A quality improvement report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this