Practices make perfect transfers
Patient records are now being electronically transferred between thousands of GP practices in England, thanks to the NHS's GP2GP system.
The system, which allows the secure transfer of records between doctors' practices, is being rolled out on schedule: GP2GP had gone live in 5,000 of England's 8,700 GP practices by December last year, after the first transfer was completed in November 2005.
The high take-up of the system means the majority of people in England will now have their medical records available at their first appointment with a new GP.
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Records were previously printed out, posted between practices and retyped at the other end, a process that could take up to six weeks.
The GP2GP system is one of 10 projects that make up the National Programme for IT, a £12.7bn programme to provide a joined up national NHS tech infrastructure.
Speaking to silicon.com for a recent round-up of the NPfIT projects, Paul Cundy, former chairman of the British Medical Association's IT Committee, described GP2GP as "world-beating tech", which works "very successfully".
According to Cundy, GP2GP takes a lot of the effort out of the previously complex and cumbersome process of transferring large files on patients.
Lee House Practice in Berkshire has been using GP2GP since the start of the national rollout. Deputy practice manager Pauline Heywood said in a statement: "GP2GP transfer is simple, easy to use with immediate benefits to the patient and practice.
"Seamless continuity of care for all involved, at the press of a few buttons, just the way it should be."
GP2GP is available to practices using the EMIS LV and INPS Vision 3 clinical systems.