Irish patients will move between hospitals in unprecedented numbers as hospital capacity is severely reduced by Covid19. Medical records need to follow these patients but there is currently no consistent, secure, and efficient method of record sharing in place across the health service. Records are routinely moved by registered post, courier or taxi raising issues of patient privacy, security of records and now, a contamination risk via handling of paper records in a hospital environment.
Dublin-based Vitro Software has today launched its proprietary software solution, called PIM or people in motion, already used by its worldwide client base, to Irish healthcare providers from as little as €1 per patient if broadly adopted (versus an €8 registered post fee and considerably more expensive for couriers/taxis).
When a patient’s treatment is moved from Hospital A to Hospital B their medical records must be accessible to their care providers in the new clinical setting. However, medical records are mostly kept in paper form in the originating hospital, and those records are photocopied and then carried (often via courier, taxi or registered post) to the receiving hospital raising issues of Covid19 transmission as those records are manually handled.
Sadly, there are regular cases highlighted in the media of full or partial records going missing or critical delays in receiving records. In the best case this leads to delayed treatment adding to the continuing backlog of medical cases. In the worst cases missing or delayed files could lead to misdiagnosis or mistreatment. There are also issues of record security, confidentiality and data protection, brought into sharp focus during the Dáil Committee hearing this week, regarding the communication of Covid19 diagnosis.
Commenting, David Nash, CEO of Vitro Software said, “To deliver the best care they can, clinicians need all relevant patient medical history at their fingertips. We know how hard the frontline teams are working, and are confident our world-class software will help them, and it is available immediately to the Irish health system at a highly affordable price.
“The Vitro Software solution can be adopted by any record keeping department in less than 30 minutes. Inputting of data takes the same amount of time as the current photocopying does but once done it never has to be repeated and is available digitally across any hospital. Importantly hospitals don’t need to change their recording systems. The treating clinician is presented with the records in a format that is already familiar to them. The records are held on secure servers in Ireland, are available between hospitals in minutes and there’s no contamination through handling. Vitro Software’s security features mean that only those clinicians authorised to see the records will see them.
“Private hospitals have told us they would see the adoption of a PIM (Paper in Motion) like software as critical across the health service. If deployed our Dublin based team is ready to go and the benefits will be available to patients immediately.”
Commenting, Jacqui Browne, a leading patient advocate said, “There’s a pressing need for the immediate digitisation of patients’ records. In my own direct experience, the non-availability of my extensive medical record could have led to a serious misdiagnosis at a local hospital. When I felt the treating doctor was making a mistake, I insisted on a review of my important records which were held at a leading Dublin hospital. Unfortunately, I was told that they weren’t available so essentially the treating doctor didn’t have the information they needed in order to do their vital work. If this basic necessity for clinicians to have access to patients’ medical records is not addressed, authorities will eventually end up in costly litigation when serious and avoidable errors are uncovered.”