COVID-19 update: Shielded Patient Flag added to SCR

COVID-19 update: Shielded Patient Flag added to SCR

April 6, 2020

NHS Digital have added a ‘Shielded Patient Flag’ (previously also known as a Vulnerability flag) to the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) of patients who are on the shielded patient list. This enables community pharmacy teams using NHS Digital’s SCRa portal to see an alert when viewing the SCR of such a patient.

If a patient’s SCR is just being viewed to check for the presence of a shielded patient flag and it is not practical to seek the patient’s consent to view the record, the SCR normal consent requirement does not need to be applied.

Shielded patients are generally those who are immunosuppressed and at greatest risk from infection from COVID-19; they have been asked by HM Government and the NHS to stay at home for a period of 12 weeks.

The Shielded Patient Flag will support pharmacy teams’ decision making about how to best support those people in the shielded group.

The Shielded Patient Flag went live on a pilot basis on Friday 3rd April 2020. Initially the flag will be visible only to community pharmacy teams, with the feature likely to be rolled out to other parts of the health and care system later.

Although the flag will initially only be visible within the NHS Spine SCRa portal application (available from within the Spine portal), it is hoped that clinical and PMR system suppliers that enable pharmacy teams to benefit from the SCR 1-click feature will also be able to display this information in the future, following appropriate development.

How does it work? When pharmacy teams access the SCRa record of a relevant patient, an alert will be displayed when the record of a vulnerable patient is retrieved. A new “COVID-19 risk indicators” section will also be visible on the key demographic information screen.

Framework for checking SCR Shielded Patient Flag:  Pharmacy professionals accessing the SCR information of their patients to check for the flag do not need to have to contact the patient to confirm the check for the flag i.e. specific consent is not necessary, particularly given that the flag is visible within the demographics tab and before moving onto the other SCR tabs with further information.

See screenshots and more within this factsheet


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