New technology is enabling out-of-hours doctors in Forth Valley to access patient information on the go.
Using secure iPads, they can now read patients’ medical notes while in their cars, which could help them decide whether to refer someone to hospital or provide treatment at home.
The abbreviated notes contain information about individuals receiving palliative care or with long term conditions.
Details are uploaded onto the system by a GP with the patient’s consent.
Dr Duncan Lamont, one of NHS Forth Valley’s E-health senior doctors, said: “This is all about providing person-centred care.
“Many people with long-term conditions prefer to stay at home rather than go into hospital.
“If they have talked to their GP about this and have given permission for us to access the Key Information Summary (KIS), we are more able to provide the care that best suits their wishes.”
Since July 2012, Forth Valley GPs visiting patients out-of-hours have used iPads to receive referrals from NHS 24 and take clinical notes.
This allows the doctor to send referral letters directly to the hospital when arranging admission.
Previously, doctors had to wait until they had returned to one of the three Forth Valley GP out-of-hours centres – Stirling, Larbert and Alloa – to access the system.
NHS Forth Valley remains the only GP out-of-hours service using iPads, which enables GPs to send referral letters directly to the hospital.