North London Partners in health and care

Joining up information for better care

GP practices in Barnet and Enfield have become the first boroughs in north central London (NCL) to begin using Health Information Exchange (HIE). This means that over 620,000 patients in 79 practices are now benefiting from a joined up health and care record. The joined-up records link GP surgeries’ electronic patient records with systems at Royal Free, Chase Farm and Barnet hospitals. The advantage is that GPs have access to critical patient medical information, and the right information to make quicker, safer decisions. Over the next few months, health and care teams at the Royal Free, Chase Farm and Barnet hospitals will have access to GP information in return. Community and mental health teams at Central London Community Hospital Trust and Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust will also link to the joined-up records shortly.

Dr Tal Helbitz, GP board member and digital lead for Barnet CCG, said: “Having recently installed health information exchange in my practice, it has transformed the way that I care for my patients. I am able to check on results from the hospital and prevent wasting time and resources ordering the same investigations. I can also check my patients’ future appointments and let them know about those appointments during visits to me. It is great to be able to follow up on patients that I send to the hospital and find out the outcome of my referrals in a timely manner. This saves me and my admin support team valuable time in chasing information like we did in the past. In a nutshell, it is a fantastic tool that is becoming an integral part of my day to day work as a GP - I love it!”