Development update – June 2020

We are introducing this new monthly blog to share with our Patients Know Best (PKB) community the new features we are working on each month.

It’s designed to be informative and provide an insight into what our product and development teams are focusing on. 

In June, our priorities are to:

    • continue supporting healthcare providers with their clinical transformation, particularly as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak
    • improve accessibility for patients and overall user experience.
  1. Archiving and assigning messages

It will soon be possible for professionals to archive and assign messages in their inbox. This will allow teams to manage their messaging workflow more effectively in PKB.

The archive feature allows professionals to mark a message as ‘archived’ if there are no further actions required. This will also mark the message as archived for the rest of the professional team, so all professionals can easily see that there are no further actions required, without having to read the entire message thread. 

Image 1 - Archived messages

The assign feature allows professionals to assign a message to themselves which will show the rest of their team that they are dealing with that message. This can help to manage workflows and prevent duplication of work.  

Messages marked ‘archived’ or ‘assigned’ can be filtered out of the professional’s default view of their inbox, allowing professionals to easily see which messages still need to be actioned. The patient and carers copies of these messages will be unchanged. 

Our developers have been working on this since late February and plan to have it released this month. To learn more about how teams can currently use messaging in PKB, please refer to our manual

  1. NHS App integration using NHS Login

    Image 2

Currently, patients with an existing PKB account can access parts of their record from within the NHS App using NHS Login’s encrypted single sign-on. 

This month we will be extending this functionality to allow patients to register for their existing PKB record (if one exists for them) using the same process.

We will also be adding a link from the NHS App to the PKB medicines section. This option will only be available to users where their GP practice has specified that PKB is their Patient Held Record provider.

For more information, please refer to our manual.

  1. New accessible colour scheme

We are updating the Patients Know Best colour scheme as part of our ongoing efforts to make the platform more accessible for patients. The new colours meet the latest accessibility standards ensuring compliance with WCAG AA 2.1. This will be applied to give prominence to certain key elements, helping to guide the eye of the user to the most important features. The changes will affect text, background, links and button colours.

  1. User Interface (UI) improvements for Tests 

We are addressing the presentation of all data to show information more clearly and to optimise display for small screens. This is a priority because most of our users are accessing PKB from mobile devices. We will be rolling out these changes across the PKB platform over the coming months, however this month we’re working on the Tests section (see below).

Image 3 - UI mockups

  1. OAuth 2.0 upgrade

OAuth 2.0 allows PKB customers, such as hospitals, to authorise third-party systems, like hybrid mail partners, to access PKB data.

The upgrade is cleaner for third-party developers and ties the authorisation to the customer organisation rather than a single user at the organisation. This avoids the problems of the user leaving the organisation for example and allows the third-party data to list the whole customer organisation as the source of any new data that the third-party sends to the patient.

As part of this upgrade, we are adding a new Connected Systems tab for organisation administrators to manage the third-party systems that are connected to PKB. 

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  1. FHIR APIs for digital letters

Many of our customer organisations are sending letters to their patients digitally in PKB. This lets patients access their letters quickly and securely. On average, 70% of patients are reading their letters in PKB within 48 hours. This also saves money for organisations by preventing spending on postage for patients who are happy to receive letters digitally.

Having worked closely with our hybrid mail partners that send letters for healthcare organisations, we’ve designed a new set of FHIR APIs for this workflow. These take into account the lessons that we have learned from our first years of the programme. 

Our goals when designing these APIs were to streamline the workflow, improve performance, integrate with the new OAuth2 service and to move the workflow to FHIR. 

There will be three new APIs to get the following information: registration status, registration tokens and a read-receipt for letters. Authorisation will be managed by our new OAuth2 service. 

Please see our developer documentation for the specifications.

  1. Reports for digital letters

We are building reports for digital letters so that we can give our customer organisations statistics on how their digital letters programme is progressing. This will allow organisations to see how many transactions they are carrying out and measure their savings from switching to digital letters. We will build on these reports overtime to make more information available to customers.

  1. EMIS extract service

While EMIS transitions to using Snomed CT codes in EMIS Web, the extract service has not been operational. We are working to resume processing GP data at the moment. 

As part of that, we’ll prevent email notifications from being sent to patients if we receive an update from EMIS for data that does not change in the patient’s record.  

  1. Revised advanced consent questions 

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We are revising the advanced consent questions to make them easier for patients to understand and more scalable for organisations to roll out. 

These questions can be shown to patients when they first log in. They let patients tell organisations how they should contact them outside of PKB and whether they want to participate in clinical research.

The improvements are based on our work with early-adopter customers and patient charities. 

For more information, check out our blog on ‘Updating Advanced Consent‘. 

We look forward to sharing further details about all these new features when they are released. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more please get in touch.  

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