Daily Archives: April 8, 2017

READ Codes

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READ codes are used in primary care and feature as one of the standards that are applicable to the NHS interoperability framework. Before discussing READ codes in more detail, i’ll just explain what the interoperability framework means.

Patient Records

Patient records are central to the delivery of healthcare and serve a number of functions including the recording of clinical assessments and interventions. Aggregated data is also utilised at a local and national level to inform commissioning.

Electronic Patient Records

The digitisation of patient records offers a number of advantages over paper based records. These advantages include automated backup of records, reduced use of physical storage space (since paper based notes are switched to servers), off-site access to records using mobile devices and the potential to develop analytical clinical support tools which use computers to process clinical data to help improve clinical decisions. Not all healthcare services have electronic patient records but most providers are moving in this direction.

Getting Electronic Patient Records to Talk to Each Other

When patients move between healthcare providers – for instance between primary care and the hospital – they may find that one provider does not have information that the other provider has. There are many providers and many electronic paper record systems. For two systems to talk to each other they have to solve a number of problems. When these problems are solved a patient can move between providers and healthcare information can be accessed by the different providers. A key solution to this problem of health information gaps is the Health Information Exchange (HIE).

The Health Information Exchange

There are many definitions of what a Health Information Exchange is. (Hersh et al, 2015) define a HIE as follows:

Health information exchange (HIE), the electronic sharing of clinical information across the boundaries of health care organizations’

Whilst this definition is simple, the process of sharing clinical information between healthcare organisations is technically complex and encompasses a range of software, hardware and governance issues. The process of helping systems to talk to each other is helped by the development of standards. A set of standards is outlined in the NHS interoperability framework.

The Interoperability Framework

A digital copy of the Interoperability Handbook can be found at the NHS England website (NHS England, 2017). The handbook explains how an interoperability framework can support an interoperability strategy. The interoperability framework has three layers – a governance layer, an exchange layer and an interpretation layer.

The Standards Applicable to the Interoperability Framework

Appendix A in the Interoperability Handbook shows how various standards map onto the Interoperability Framework (NHS England, 2017).

The READ codes

Amongst the standards that map onto the Interoperability Framework are the READ codes. The NHS Digital website details how the READ codes are divided into READ version 2 and READ version 3. READ version 3 is also referred to as CTV3.  The NHS Digital website describes the READ codes as a ‘coded thesaurus of clinical terms’. The READ codes are being retired in 2018 according to the site and will be replaced by SNOMED CT® which I have covered elsewhere.

Citations

https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1104/Read-Codes, accessed 8.4.17

Hersh WR, Totten AM, Eden KB, et al. Outcomes From Health Information Exchange: Systematic Review and Future Research Needs. Eysenbach G, ed. JMIR Medical Informatics. 2015;3(4):e39. doi:10.2196/medinform.5215.

 

Links to Other Posts in the Health Information Exchange Series

General Posts to Date on Health Information Exchanges

Posts on Examples of Health Information Exchanges

SNOMED CT®/ICD Mapping and Harmonisation Posts

SNOMED CT® Posts

ICD 1-10 Posts

ICD-11 Posts

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here

Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link.

TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk.

Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Conflicts of Interest: *For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section

‘Self-Contained’ Posts

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I am just experimenting with the style of the posts to try to make them relatively self-contained. What this means is that it should be possible for the reader who is new to the subject to read the post which should contain most or all of the information needed to understand the post. At times there are links to other posts in the series which means that it is not entirely self-contained but relies on access to these associated posts.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here

Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link.

TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk.

Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Conflicts of Interest: *For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section