Rotherham Hospital’s new EPR system has been developed to help us treat our patients more effectively and to give healthcare staff quicker and easier access to up-to-date information about your treatment.
We hope to answer as many of your questions in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ set out below. If you have any further questions about EPR that you would like answering please e-mail EPRProjectTeam@rothgen.nhs.uk
About the Electronic Patient Record
What is the Electronic Patient Record system?
Here at Rotherham Hospital we are introducing a new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system, which will help us to treat our patients more effectively and has been specially designed to ultimately hold all of your clinical and health information in one place.
The old system, which included both paper-based notes and a variety of computer records, meant that different sets of information would be within different hospital departments, which could sometimes cause unnecessary delays.
The hospital’s Electronic Patient Record system, MEDITECH v6.0, is an advanced system which is able to store more in-depth clinical information about our patients, All hospital staff who are directly involved with your care will have some level of access to this system, which will be updated at each point of a patient’s care.
What information is included in my Electronic Patient Record?
Once fully implemented, your personal Electronic Patient Record will include important information about your health, including medical history, medications, current prescriptions, allergies, laboratory test results, radiology images, immunisation status and more. It will also include the required personal information we need for our records, including name, date of birth, address, contact phone number and next of kin contact details.
How will my Electronic Patient Record help me?
Having your own, up-to-date Electronic Patient Record will greatly enhance the care you receive every time you have treatment at the hospital, with benefits including:
- All hospital staff who are directly involved with your treatment will be able to share important information quickly, such as test results and diagnoses, giving an accurate picture of your medical health history.
- By having quicker access to your records, including any prescriptions or allergies you have, hospital staff will be able to provide more effective care. For example, decisions can be made about what medicine to give you if it is known what you are already taking, or if you have had a bad reaction to a medicine in the past. However, you will still need to tell us, in the first instance, what medications you have been prescribed from your GP.
- You should not have to repeat the same details when you receive care.
What will happen to my health information you already have at the hospital?
Some patient information from our paper-based and computer records will have been transferred over to the EPR system. Where required we will continue to use some paper medical records for the foreseeable future. Your paper-based record will be archived according to NHS guidelines for historical and legal purposes.
If you have previously attended Rotherham Hospital for treatment, then a new Electronic Patient Record will already have been created for you. This record will continue to be updated with each hospital visit.
If you are a new patient at Rotherham Hospital, a new Electronic Patient Record will be created for you when you first attend the hospital for treatment (and will continue to be updated with each hospital visit).
Can I ‘opt-out’ of having an Electronic Patient Record?
No, as the Electronic Patient Record system is unique to Rotherham Hospital and contains essential information which we need to provide your treatment and care. These are localised care records which are different to the ‘Summary Care Records’ which were publicised a few years ago. The aim of the Summary Care Record (SCR) was to create a care record which could be accessed by all healthcare professionals nationwide e.g. if you are staying in another part of the country and require medical care. All NHS patients were written to about the Summary Care Record and given the opportunity to opt-out if they desired.
However, your EPR within the hospital is very different to the SCR in that it is only accessible by staff who are providing your care within the hospital. Your Electronic Patient Record will, in time, replace the paper and PC records previously held at the hospital and will be just as vital in providing your care and treatment whilst at hospital. Therefore, due to the nature of the hospital’s EPR system, an ‘opt-out’ option will not be available.
Access to your Electronic Patient Record
Who can see my Electronic Patient Record?
Here at the hospital we have tight controls in place to ensure that only those directly involved in your care will be allowed access to your Electronic Patient Record. Therefore, anyone who has access to your records:
- Must be directly involved in your care and treatment at the hospital
- Will have been assigned a secure access method which uniquely identifies them
- Will only see the information they need to do their job
- Will have their details recorded for every action that is taken on the system
We would like to stress that only healthcare staff working at the hospital, who are directly involved with your care, will have access to your EPR – and this will only be access to the relevant parts of your Electronic Patient Record that they need in order to do their job.
For further information please see the ‘Keeping your Electronic Patient Record Safe and Confidential’ section of these FAQs.
Can I ask to see my Electronic Patient Record?
Yes. The Data Protection Act 1998 allows you to find out what information we hold about you. You can request informal access to your records by speaking to the professional staff involved in your care. If you think some of the information in your records is inaccurate you are entitled by law to ask for it to be corrected.
In special circumstances the law allows us not to show you your information if we consider it harmful to you, or another person’s, physical and/ or mental wellbeing. For formal access to your records you must make a request in writing to the contact below. Please note that under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 you may be charged to access your records with an overall limit of £50 where copies are provided.
For further information, please see our Data Protection Policy or contact:
Deputy Health Records Manager
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
Rotherham, S60 2UD
Can I look at my Electronic Patient Record if I am under 16?
Yes, everyone is welcome to see the records the hospital holds about them, subject to the laws around children’s rights and information about third parties.
How do I find out who has looked at my Electronic Patient Record?
The MEDITECH system contains a full audit trail. The hospital’s Privacy Officer can undertake reviews to determine who has accessed an individual’s record.
Will people other than those providing me with care be able to access my Electronic Patient Record?
The EPR system will be used to send necessary information about your care and treatment to your local GP; however your GP will not have access to the hospital’s EPR system. This new EPR system is only available within Rotherham Hospital and only hospital staff involved with your care will have access to your EPR. The information they will be able to access will also depend on their job and not all staff will be able to access all sections of your EPR.
Please note that the records of patients attending the hospital’s Genito-Urinary Medicine Sexual Health department will remain entirely separate to the EPR system.
Can I stop information being put into my Electronic Patient Record?
Only information related to your care will be recorded on the EPR system (and information about patient care has always been recorded at the hospital, wither via paper or other computerised systems). Staff have a professional responsibility for recording accurate information about your treatment. Without this information, it would not be possible to perform the treatment you require.
Can I change information on my Electronic Patient Record?
Where incorrect information is held, you are encouraged to ensure this is modified. Staff have an obligation to keep information current and correct and you should take every opportunity to update your details where required.
Can I add information to my Electronic Patient Record?
Relevant information can be added to your record and you are encouraged to discuss this with your healthcare provider within the hospital.
Keeping your Electronic Patient Record safe and confidential
How will you protect my confidentiality?
As an NHS organisation we have a legal duty to protect your confidentiality and keep all information about you secure. Please see the Patient Confidentiality section on our website for further information on how we protect your confidentiality and keep your information safe.
The NHS Care Record Guarantee for England also offers further protection for patients. This Guarantee, which has been published by the National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care (NIGB), says how the NHS will collect, store and allow access your electronic records and your choices for how your information is stored and looked at.
Within the Trust we have a ‘Caldicott Guardian’ who is responsible for protecting your confidentiality. For more information or advice you can contact the Caldicott Guardian or the Caldicott Co-ordinator.
What are my rights about how you keep my health information confidential?
You have the right to expect us to keep your health information confidential and to comply with The NHS Care Record Guarantee and The Data Protection Act 1998. You also have the right to access your health records if you wish and to contact our Caldicott Co-ordinator if you feel there have been any breaches of confidentiality.
Could my records be accidentally deleted or lost?
The hospital’s MEDITECH v6.0 Electronic Patient Record system has advanced security and safety measures in place. A record of previous entries is stored in the system to enable previous information to be accessed. In the unlikely event of system corruption, your records can be retrieved through the hospital’s back-up of the system, which has been implemented to safeguard all our electronic and IT systems.
Where can I get further information from?
For further information about the hospital’s Electronic Patient Record system, please call (01709) 427758, e-mail EPRProjectTeam@rothgen.nhs.uk or write to:
The EPR Project Team
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
Rotherham, S60 2UD
If you would like to know more about how we use your information or if you have any concerns about how your information is used, please speak to the professional staff involved in your care, the Medical Director on (01709) 820000 or the Caldicott Co-ordinator on (01709) 307637.