London Ambulance Service staff to access patient information on the move

A pilot scheme allows medics to view summary care records remotely via iPads.
By Tammy Lovell

London Ambulance Service is enabling its medics to securely view patient medical data on the move via iPads.

A 16-week pilot being run by NHS Digital, launched the mobile summary care record system (Mobile SCRa) to around 60 ambulance service staff in Camden last week.

Medics will be able to use the NHS Identity authentication system to remotely access summary care records (SCRs), electronic records of important patient information, over the internet.

SCRs contain information such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, ongoing prescriptions, known allergies and other specific patient needs.

The pilot is the first step in the Mobile SCRa project, which will eventually be rolled-out throughout the capital.

“By being able to securely access patient information on a tablet device at the patient’s side, our clinicians will have more information at their fingertips, enabling them to provide better and more informed care,” said Stuart Crichton, chief clinical information officer at the London Ambulance Service.

Why does it matter?

Previously NHS staff were only able to authenticate by using a smart card over the N3 data connection network.

The pilot intends to reduce the time medics need to spend with patient, by providing them with access to crucial patient information over the internet while out on call.

This aims to prevent patients having to repeat themselves while they are in pain or distressed and reduce emergency department admissions.

What’s the context?

The pilot will be used for ongoing product development from a technical and end user perspective, before the initiative is made available to all frontline London Ambulance Service medics.

Next steps for the project are to increase functionality on the Mobile SCRa product and extend availability to other Android and Windows devices. The project teams are also looking to run pilots in different care settings.

On the record

Mike Walker, the programme head responsible for NHS Identity and Mobile SCRa, said he was "extremely proud” of the team who had worked hard to get the capability built, enabled and deployed.

“This mobile solution has been implemented very quickly in a real-world environment, providing meaningful insight that will inform future direction. We hope to see that this brings real benefits to the working day of medics and A&E staff and, most importantly, to patients,” he added.

MobiHealthNews is a HIMSS Media publication.