Scotland’s patient register to be replaced with a ‘single source of truth’

NHS National Services Scotland (NHS NSS), the organisation that supports the country’s health boards, has signed a contract with a California-based healthcare firm to replace the existing Community Health Index (CHI).

NextGate, a specialist in identity management, said it had secured a “multi-year” contract to replace the CHI with a “modern enterprise master patient index”.

The index issues and maintains unique patient identifiers corresponding to a patient and their electronic records. It supports previously used identifiers to provide a “single source of truth” for patients and relevant agencies.

“By providing a modern, well supported solution, health boards will be able to generate and reference the most up to date demographics for patients, improve positive patient identification, and, with the increased use of the patient’s electronic health record, facilitate patient centred health care delivery,” said NextGate in a statement.

It is built on open standards allowing for integration with the Scottish Child Public Health and Wellbeing System and with other existing systems. Nextgate said it will enable co-ordination and co-operation with providers of other services and systems to NHS Scotland “in real-time”.

Andy Robertson, director of IT at NHS NSS, said: “The modernisation of our CHI system with their technology will help us deliver the highest standards of healthcare to the people of Scotland in a cost effective and efficient manner.”

Andy Aroditis, NextGate’s chief executive, added: “We look forward to helping NHS Scotland transform their use of electronic patient records and enhance the patient experience.

“In today’s data rich environment, connecting patients to all of their records is a broad and important task that leads directly to more comprehensive quality care.”

Nextgate’s system was adopted by NHS Dumfries and Galloway in 2015 to integrate its children’s services across health, social care and other public agencies.