PRSB publishes document indexing standards

A new document naming standard developed by the PRSB in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit aims to ensure that records are properly named and indexed, so they can be retrieved in order to provide ongoing care.

People can easily have hundreds of digital and paper documents in their health and care records and a standardised way of naming them is essential if they are to be easily found when needed, particularly in an emergency.

Dr Neelam Dugar, consultant radiologist at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust “This new standard will generate consistency throughout the NHS, by ensuring documents are correctly named and can be easily located in online systems.”

“For example, if a clinician needs access to a patient’s previous x-ray results, these can all be found under ‘radiology reports’, rather than a range of different places. Ultimately this will make care better and safer for patients, by ensuring easy access to important information.”

The PRSB said that standardising document naming will be useful, other information tags will also be needed. They say “The next step will be to develop a standard for identifying documents using additional tags, known as metadata. This will ensure the relevant documents can be easily located within a person’s care records. For example, a GP could find a specific test result using the date and who it was recorded by, in order to make well-informed decisions about a person’s ongoing care.”