COVID-19 test results now visible in GP systems

NHS Digital has announced that COVID-19 test results are now being automatically sent to GP systems.

It applies to all tests booked using or portals for tests carried out at testing centres or with at-home testing kits.

The service is using EMIS Health’s Keystone product to deliver the results into the systems of 95 per cent of GP surgeries, with the remaining 5 per cent due to go live soon.

The results will appear in a patient’s record as a laboratory test result would appear.

Richard Ashcroft, programme director at NHS Digital, said: “We have worked quickly to ensure this technology can be put in place so that GPs are kept informed about coronavirus tests being undertaken by their patients, while making sure it is done simply, with as little additional admin for GP practice staff as possible.”

“Many patients would regard it as a given that their test results should automatically appear in their GP medical record, but the technological work behind the scenes with a brand new system such as that delivering the testing programme is considerable.”

Shaun O’Hanlon, chief medical officer at EMIS Health, said: “Technology has played a pivotal role in the response to COVID-19 across the board and keeping the medical record up to date with COVID-19 test results means everyone who can share that record has a full picture of the patient’s health, including the patient themselves via Patient Access.”

“This will not only help day to day patient care, and it will also help on a wider population health level, as data-led insight relies on full and complete medical records as analysts continue to research COVID-19 and its short- and long-term impact on the nation.”