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RPS1March 30 2016

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has updated its guidance on electronic health records. Intended for use by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, the new document, ‘Electronic Health Records (EHR): Guidance for Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians’, replaces previous guidance issued in 2012.

It sets out key principles concerning the maintenance and use of EHRs of all types, including pharmacy patient medication records (PMRs), GP systems and national NHS electronic record services. It also describes some of the issues associated with using EHRs in pharmacy professional practice and makes recommendations to pharmacy professionals concerning best practice use of EHRs to support high quality practice and patient care.

Under general principles, the document covers legal requirements around confidentiality, consent and liability, as well as information governance and data sharing. Topics addressed under the theme of using EHRs in pharmacy practice are the creation of EHRs, access to EHR systems, record keeping, patient access to their EHR, data sharing.

Other considerations include standard operating procedures, business continuity, archiving and destruction of records, and the use of data for purposes other than that for which it was collected. Case studies are used to illustrate certain aspects, and information is separated out where appropriate for approaches taken in England, Scotland and Wales.

Sid Dajani, Chair of the RPS-led Pharmacy Information Management and Technology group, said: “It is for a large part thanks to the RPS that all registered pharmacy professionals like myself, now have access to the EHR in order to reduce medicine errors, improve medicines adherence and deliver safe and more effective care to our patients.

“This guidance is an important tool for all pharmacists accessing patient records. The RPS believes patient record access, ideally read and write access, is vitally important to enable the profession to continue to transform the way we practice to improve patient outcomes and efficiency.”

Links:

RPS announcement

RPS ‘Electronic Health Records (EHR): Guidance for Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians’

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