Patients seeking emergency treatment in County Durham are
among the first in the North East to get faster and safer care
thanks to a new electronic patient record.
Summary Care Records (SCRs) are being created for patients
across England to enable healthcare staff treating them in
emergencies to find vital health information instantly via their
In many hospitals, sourcing basic health information from
busy GP practices takes time and when surgeries are closed in the
evenings and at weekends there is usually no access to patient's
records for doctors and pharmacists.
Laura Smith, senior clinical pharmacist, explains how the
SCR is working on the medical admissions ward at University
Hospital of North Durham: "If a patient has an SCR, it's a big
help. With a few clicks of the mouse I can get the information I
need on their medications, without waiting around to receive the
information from their GP surgery.
"Prescribing insulin for patients with diabetes is a good
example of how SCRs improve patient care and support patient
"Patients are often able to say how much insulin they take
but cannot be certain which one of the seven or eight different
types of insulin they use.
"Getting the brand wrong can be fatal and so the more
information we have the better. SCR allows us to provide the most
appropriate treatment more quickly."
Published: 4 April 2012
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community