The PHCSG has several Special Interest Groups which are open to all members. If you are interested in any of these topics, please contact the Group Administrator, Judy Hayes
Chaired by Dr John Williams
This meeting considered the structure of the electronic medical record (EMR). A 'wishlist' was brainstormed, and we then considered in more detail problem and episode oriented records, and the differences, similarities and overlaps between them. We also considered the concepts of 'timelines', care plans, goals and clinical guidelines.
The work of the previous meeting was continued, looking at timelines and care plans in more detail.
Most of this meeting was taken up with considering why coding is necessary / what is needed. It proved difficult to express what was really needed. Rather than consider coding for coding's sake, or the merits / demerits of particular coding systems, it was felt that a "language" was needed that could be understood by health care professionals and yet at the same time be handled by the computer. There was a need for both vocabulary and syntax or semantic links. The prime question should be how concepts could best be represented rather than assuming that everything should be coded. A related issue was the need for a standardised information model or record structure for general practice. The difference between a classification and a controlled clinical terminology was considered, as were input and retrieval hierarchies, and the conflict between coding hierarchies and classifications. It was suggested that classifications are most useful when looking at populations while controlled clinical terminologies are necessary for support of care of individual patients. There was confidence that a limited implementation of Read version 3 would work in general practice. The Group loosely formulated a 'wish list' of essentials, and this list has gone on to inform the NHS-CCC's primary care product review panel.
There was a detailed discussion of security and confidentiality of clinical messages carried by the GP/Provider Links trailblazer sites, and this discussion highlighted the need for us to understand more clearly how our hospital colleagues' information needs and attitudes differ from our own. The Group spent some time considering possible strategies to get hospital clinicians to want to use clinical information systems. A critical issue for them seems to be communications - being able to find the right people at any particular time in oder to execute decisions already made. It was agreed that we should arrange to visit a hospital site which already used a clinical information system. The rest of the day was spent discussing the issue of care plans in GP structured records.
15/16 November 1996, Burton-on-Trent, including a visit to Burton Hospitals NHS Trust, to consider the problems of a hospital clinical information system. Any paid-up member of the PHCSG may attend. Details from the SIG Chairman via Judy Hayes at the PHCSG offices.
14/15 February 1997: Northern venue, to be decided
16/17 May 1997: Midlands venue, probably Evesham
18/19 July 1997: Venue to be decided
Next meeting is scheduled for 13th November, and any paid-up member of the PHCSG may attend. If you are interested in attending this meeting, please contact Dr Glyn Hayes.
Do you want to be actively involved in EUROSIG / INTERSIG?
There have been some activities that because of time constraints nobody has been able to attend, so if anybody has a particular European interest, and is prepared to become actively involved, please get in touch with Dr Neill Jones. One particular area he would like to see developed over the next few years is an increasing involvement in the development of standards, within Europe and more particularly internationally.