More than one quarter of a million patients in Hull and the East Riding will be invited to sign up for a new digital online system to allow them to keep track of hospital visits and play an active role in their own health care.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is introducing the Patients Know Best online system initially for outpatient appointments so patients can receive electronic notification of their appointments as soon as they are booked using a computer, tablet device or smartphone.
Around 271,000 people who have been referred to Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for treatment or investigations by their GPs and patients who are already undergoing treatment will be invited to join, with more patients set to benefit in the coming months.
Jenifer Barker, who is leading the project for the trust, said: “It will be so convenient for people because they will be able to access their hospital letters all in one place through their mobile phone or whichever device they feel most comfortable with.
“They will also be notified of their appointments as soon as they are booked by our hospital teams instead of waiting for the letter to arrive through their letterbox.”
Patients will be invited to sign up to PKB by letter or SMS text , which will provide a link and individual code to register for an account.
People who wish to join the scheme but do not have digital access will be able to give permission for their relatives or carers to sign up for the online system on their behalf to help them manage and keep track of their hospital appointments.
Patients can decide who has access to their records, such as family members, carers or health professionals involved in their care, and what information they can see. They will have the option of restricting access to information, such as certain health matters.
All records held in PKB conform to strict NHS security standards, meaning only patients and those they permit to view their records will have access.
In the future, the PKB system will enable people with long-term conditions to play an active role in their own healthcare, such as sending their own glucose, weight or heart readings to their health teams, preventing unnecessary visits to hospital. It may also see patients being given access to their test results and inpatient attendance records.
[Allison Coggan – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust]