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GP practices told to review 44,000 patient records after data loss glitch

5 March 2018

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GPs are set to have to review tens of thousands of patient records following a problem where dates and times of entries were removed.

Over 2,500 practices have lost patient data including read codes, vaccination information and pathology results due to a problem with importing records of returning patients.

The problem, which has impacted 44,104 records, has affected patients that were registered with SystmOne or EMIS practice, moved to a practice that does not use these systems and then moved back to a SystmOne or EMIS practice.

While the patients were registered away from the SystmOne or EMIS practice, patient data were entered in the other clinical system, which had no date and time associated with them.

Then when the patient returned to the SystmOne or EMIS practice, this data were not imported.

According to the BMA’s GP committee newsletter, the data loss affects all EMIS and SystmOne transfers of returning patients but not patient records on Vision or Microtest.

So far, 2,526 SystmOne practices have been affected, with 44,104 patient records impacted. Twelve practices have had over 100 patients affected.

GPC contract negotiator Dr Farah Jameel said there have been ‘no reported safety incidents’ as a result of the issues but ‘NHS Digital’s clinical safety team continues to review this incident’.

She said: ‘GPC is in active dialogue with NHS England and NHS Digital, receiving updated status reports as they come in. The workload implications for practices affected has been highlighted and is an area GPC is seeking resolution on.’

This comes after SystmOne updated its record-sharing feature following questions over whether GPs were in breach of data protection legislation after activating a record-sharing feature in the IT system.

How bad is the glitch?

So far, 2,526 SystmOne practices have been affected, with 44,104 patient records impacted. Twelve practices have had over 100 patients affected. On average, each patient has two entries missing from their record, but a maximum of 66 missing entries has been identified.

TPP was unable to comment but has issued an action plan for affected practices, sending GPs a list of their affected patients through a task on the system.

For practices that have had more than 10 patients affected, TPP will also highlight whose records need to be reviewed most urgently. The 12 practices with more than 100 patients affected will be contacted by TPP directly.

This story was originally published by our sister publication Pulse. 

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