Cutting-edge tech powers pioneering homeless healthcare

22 Feb 2017

The complex health needs of hundreds of homeless people are being better served through a pioneering approach to medical record sharing in South West England.

Armed with a more comprehensive understanding of their medical, social and psychiatric history, doctors at Bristol’s Homeless Health Service are providing care that is both safer and more likely to lead to improvements in homeless people’s health.

The initiative could help reduce the financial strain on the NHS by reducing the number of times homeless people attend the A&E department or are admitted to hospital.

BrisDoc Healthcare Services, a primary care provider holding only NHS contracts, runs the Homeless Health Service in the Compass Centre in the heart of Bristol. This Service was commissioned by NHS Bristol CCG, and started on Oct 1st 2016.

When a homeless person comes to the Compass Centre, rather than spending hours trying to gather background information by fax from other practices, hospitals, pharmacies, or prisons, BrisDoc now has instant access – with the patient’s consent – to their entire GP medical record (complete with documents from hospitals etc) held on the EMIS Web clinical record system, or on the Summary Care Record of the NHS spine.

“Accessing the GP records of clients who visit the homeless health service, with their permission, means that we have a much more comprehensive idea of the health issues that they face.”

Dr Michael Taylor, lead GP at the homeless health service

Read the full story on the EMIS Health website.