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High Quality Women’s Health Care | Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

17 July, 2011 (10:19) | Initiatives, Maternents, maternity care, Patient-Centered Care | By: Helga Perry

Report of an Expert Advisory Group of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), published July 2011.

High Quality Women’s Health Care | Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  (full PDF available here)

This report covers all aspects of maternity care in the UK. A key message of particular interest to us at the EEPD is:

Information and communications technology solutions are urgently required so that different providers and policy makers can have access to information to improve services for populations as a whole. (Chapter 4)

The RCOG Expert Advisory Group states on page 28:

4.4.2 Information and communications technology

Information and communications technology is an essential tool to deliver high quality services. Sharing of information across networks will be crucial to ensure that different providers can work together in an integrated way and that there can be coordinated care planning across the whole system. In the area of maternity care, the woman-held medical record has been a success but probably because it relates to a single event, albeit over a period of nearly a year. It is unclear whether a similar approach will work in other areas.

Data are also essential to measure outcomes and for benchmarking, as well as to provide meaningful information to women and commissioners. These data will also be essential for research so that services can be improved further. At present, simply accessing basic, meaningful clinical information on a national basis for benchmarking of outcomes is impossible. This must change.

The Expert Advisory Group believes that to deliver integrated services, a single information technology system with the following key features is essential:

an electronic health record

patient access to the record

picture archiving and communications

electronic prescribing

electronic booking

telemedicine.

It is appreciated that some components already exist, but uniform electronic platforms need development and coordination.

In terms of the quality of data, we advocate that clinicians take an active role in ensuring that their local information is accurate.

That’s the Expert Advisory Group’s opinion. Discuss!

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