Use of Summary Care Records (SCRs) among community pharmacies in England has reached the important milestone of 50%, says NHS Digital.
That’s nearly 6,000 such businesses pharmacies using the approach, which digitally stores key clinical information about a patient from their GP record – and the top ten community pharmacies for SCR usage are accessing SCR on average 50 times a week, it adds.
The news comes 12 months after NHS Digital began rollout of SCR to community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, it says, adding that over 20,000 pharmacy professionals have completed online SCR training, and almost 90% of community pharmacies have participated in briefing sessions to support their implementation of SCR.
NHS Digital says pharmacies using SCR benefit from improved clinical decision making, reduced patient waiting times and fewer calls to GP surgeries. SCR supports the wider role of pharmacy, by providing patient information to support people with long-term conditions or complex drug treatments.
It also supports pharmacy to become the first port of call for minor ailments, helping to free up resource within general practice and A&E.
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“It is really encouraging that half of community pharmacies now have access to SCR, allowing them to support patients with better informed and tailored care,” claimed Mohammed Hussain, Programme Head for Integrated Pharmacy at NHS Digital.
From April 2017, accessing SCR will also become a NHS England measure under the Quality Payments Scheme for community pharmacy, helping to drive up quality of care in this setting, he added.
For community pharmacies yet to access SCR, including those that have already attended a briefing event, further guidance on completing the implementation and training process is available on the NHS Digital website.
Additional SCR briefing events are also being arranged in the New Year for independent pharmacies, it is promising.
NHS Digital, the national information and technology provider for the health and care system, is the new trading name for the former Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).