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Guardian Article - Patients need access and understanding of their electronic health records Royal College of General Practitioners
 

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Real-Time Digital Medicine at Christie Hospital, Manchester

Haughton Thornley Medical Centres is very sorry to inform you that Gill has sadly died. She and her family wanted you and everybody in the world to know that patients need information and access to their own records so that they can manage their care better and also work with their clinicians to help get a more joined up care especially when they have to be managed by multiple organisations and are dependent on others to do the right thing. Gill always wanted to help others so that we can all benefit too in some small way. Our thoughts are with Gill's family and are thankful for allowing us to ensure her memory lives on for all to see.

Christie hospital is a world-renowned cancer hospital, the largest in Europe, treating more than 40,000 patients a year and was the first UK centre to be accredited as a comprehensive cancer centre. Although based in Manchester and serving a population of 3.2 million people, being a national specialist over 25% of its patients come from other areas around the country as well as some from abroad.

Dr Hannan, a GP in Hyde, Tameside & Glossop and a member of the Health Informatics Clinical Advisory Team was invited to come and speak at the Grand Round and Scientific Lecture Programme on 8th July 2011 on Real-time Digital Medicine and what this might mean for the Christies, patients treated by the Christie and healthcare services struggling to meet the demands of today whilst trying to develop services for the future too.

He also brought a long a patient of his, Gill, who is also being treated by the Christies as well as a number of other local hospitals too who gives a brief history of her own condition and how Real-time Digital Medicine is helping her to manage her health alongside the excellent clinicians at the Christies who are doing their very best for her - a true Partnership of Trust supported by clinicians and technologies. 

The talk will be of interest to clinicians, managers and patients at the Christie as well as those in other hospitals, community clinics as well as GP surgeries and Clinical Consortia and those helping to deliver excellent cancer services anywhere in the world. 

The talk (lasting 1 hour 35 minutes) has been divided up into 4 sections to make it easier to view. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Dr Hannan on amir.hannan@nhs.net


  • Dr Hannan introduced Real-time Digital Medicine
  • There are opportunities as well as challenges faced by Christie hospital and the Greater Manchester health economy
  • He describes "Industrial Age" healthcare, the Paradigm Shift, how patients can now access their records online and the "Information Age" healthcare
  • What is a "Knowledge-driven Healthcare System" and who needs to think about "Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes" to make this happen


  • Medicine used to be simple, ineffective and relatively safe. Now it is complex, effective and potentially dangerous
  • The challenge of trying to keep up with the explosion in knowledge 
  • Cancer networks will find the "Map of Medicine" very useful
  • What does a localised version of the Map of Medicine offer clinicians, managers and patients?
  • How is the National Cancer Action Team involving clinicians to develop the Map of Medicine for cancer service
  • The Map of Medicine could easily be deployed across a region - the first QIPP level 3 pathway for hepatitis C is about to be published across Greater Manchester
  • What are the benefits of using the Map of Medicine at the point of care to help in decision-making for clinicians and patients


  • The clinician is an expert in what medicine offers and what services are like locally but the patient is the expert in their own health and how it affects those around them. The computer is an "expert" which provides information for both the clinician and also for the patient to help develop a "Partnership of Trust"
  • A practice-based web portal can easily provide trusted information for patients to access relevant, useful, safe, effective information that could enhance the experience patients get. It can provide an easy link between the expert knowledge that clinicians have, embedded within the Map of Medicine and made accessible for patients to use.
  • Guidance has now been produced by the Royal College of GPs and supported by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nurses as well as Defence Organisations, the BMA and a number of patient bodies which helps to inform how patients can safely access their health records.
  • Informed healthcare is a way of thinking about how patients can be enabled to self care bringing expertise from inside the NHS, outside the NHS and others to support the patient to get better care
  • Gill, a patient of Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and an eMPOWERed patient describes her personal journey and how she is extremely grateful for the excellent work Christie hospital as well as all the other hospitals are provide for her but also how the Map of Medcine and access to her electronic health records could have helped her and how it is helping her now to manage her own care better.
  • How could Real-time Digital Medicine help Christie hospital, the regional health community and patients to deliver better outcomes and reduce costs.
  • The HICAT are supporting a meeting on 21st July to discuss further with clinicians and managers across the North-West how we can work together to deliver better outcomes and the information requirements that underpin this.


  • Dr Rhidian Bramley, Consultant Radiologist at the Christie hospital and a member of the Health Informatics Clinical Advisory Team, talks about the relevance of the talk to the Christie hospital, some of the challenges as well as the  opportunities that exist as the Christie hospital tries to define its next steps
  • Are we really saying that patients can self care even for cancers or surely it is the clinicians with their expert  knowledge of cancer services and treatment that is key to delivering quality services? 
  • Or perhaps it is about making the knowledge that is already available to the expert clinicians that now needs to be more widely available to other hospital clinicians, community staff, GPs and patients too?  
  • Perhaps this is a real opportunity for clinicians in the Christie to engage with local health communities that are already deploying Map of Medicine so that their expert knowledge may be incorporated into local health commissioning plans too?
  • How do we tackle patients seeing bad news over the internet and are we ready for this type of technology or is this more about the culture we have today?
  • Dr Hannan shows how a new application has been developed for the iPhone and iPad which he showed the audience to see how easy in a real-time digital world it could be to access information very easily.
  • Finally what about trying to set up an expert group who could comment on local pathways design so that we can easily incorporate views on pathways and make them available for all to access too?
Links to further information

Health Informatics Clinical Advisory Team

Guidance for Health Professionals on "Enabling Patients to Access Electronic Health Records"




After the talk, Dr Hannan learned about the ehealth competency framework, produced by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which helps to define some of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that clinicians should consider relating to ehealth.

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