Development Update – August 2020

In this instalment of our development blog, we share with our PKB community what our developer and product teams are working on this August. 

This month, our priorities are:

  1. Restarting the EMIS extract service
  2. User interface updates to improve user experience

EMIS extract service

We’re aiming to resume processing GP data from the EMIS extract service. The extract service has not been operational for the last few months while EMIS has been moving to SNOMED CT codes. 

As part of this work, 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. 

Symptoms pages upgrade

We’re updating the ‘Symptoms’ pages to improve the look and feel of these pages and ensure they are optimised for smaller screens. 

The ‘Symptoms history’ page will now include a new 2 month view of symptoms. We will replace the existing toggle style buttons with a new ‘Add symptom’ button to take users to the Update symptom page. This change will make the available action stand out whilst maintaining consistency with our existing action buttons. We have also highlighted the most important parts of the help text for prominence.

On the ‘Add symptom’ page, we have updated the format of the severity buttons to make it more user friendly. We decided to replace the radio buttons as users sometimes found it difficult to see which radio button aligned to each severity.

Continuing work from July on Tests pages & adding new options menu 

Last month we told you about the work we started in July to update the Tests pages to highlight key information and ensure the pages were optimised for all screen sizes. This work continues in August and should be released to our live environment in the next couple of weeks. 

60% of our users are using PKB on a mobile device so it’s a priority for us to ensure the screens are fully responsive. We’re re-labeling some of the items on the page and simplifying the icons for data points on graphs to make these easier to understand. 

We also mentioned adding the new ‘ellipsis’ (the …) options menu to the tests page. Our research showed that some users struggled to find particular features. In response, we have built a new options menu which will display for each data point. 

The menu will be represented by an ellipsis, which is one of the more commonly used design patterns that websites use for displaying further actions. Clicking on the options menu will open a dropdown that lists the actions available. These actions will be: Edit data, Change privacy, Delete and Discuss.

HL7 partner and connecting organisation information now displayed

This month we continue the work to show additional source details when an HL7 message has been sent on behalf of a partner, or when it has been sent via a connecting organisation.

PKB is proud to partner with third party companies, some of which can be found on our website

Data sent by an organisation’s supplier on behalf of the organisation

The User Interface (UI) will clearly show the third-party partner sending data on behalf of the organisation. The source text for a datapoint will read “(partner name) on behalf of (org name)”.

Additionally, we will make UI changes to show users when one organisation has sent data on behalf of another. The source text for a datapoint will read “(connecting org name) on behalf of (org name A)”.

We’re also updating the UI on all pages where the source is currently shown. We will make changes for care plans, events and messages and within email notifications at a later date. 

Support Scottish and Northern Ireland identifiers in new mass registration and hybrid mail workflow FHIR APIs

Our FHIR API for mass registration and for the hybrid mail workflow will now allow a national identifier parameter for Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

This will make it possible to query registration status for a patient in the organisation with an identifier parameter for Northern Ireland and Scotland, and it will allow registration tokens to be generated for them.

Further information about these APIs is available on our developer wiki

FHIR API for record creation and demographic updates

We’re continuing to work on a FHIR API that will allow organisations to create patient records, invite patients to register by email and update patient demographics. Please see our specification for more details

This will give organisations more flexibility when choosing how to create patients. It will also allow us to integrate with London’s Data Discovery Service who will use our FHIR APIs to send GP data to patient records in PKB.

API to find the date of the latest datapoint added to a record

We’re designing an API that will give organisations the date that the most recent data point was added to a patient’s record. 

Platforms can use this to build population health dashboards like CMyLife in the Netherlands has for patients with blood cancer. This API will help them to decide when a dashboard showing data about the patient should be refreshed. This development work will begin this month. 

Archiving Consultations

We will give organisations the option to archive consultations. Archived consultations no longer appear for patients to fill out or professionals to send out. The completed answers remain for coordinators to download. We will work on this throughout August and September. 

Contact details CSV to include identifiers

When coordinators download a CSV of their patients’ contact details, the CSV will soon include the patients’ national identifier (e.g. NHS number in England) and local identifiers. This will make it easier for clinical teams to cross reference the contact details they hold on PKB with other systems.

Registration reports 

This month we’re working on enrolment reports that show organisations how many of the patients they invited have registered and which registration pathways were the most popular. 

Access log will no longer show entries following a CSV upload of patients

When an organisation uploads a CSV of patients, each patient in the upload will only see one entry in their Access log to represent the upload. Previously, many rows were being added to the Access log which was confusing for users.

Events and Messages Refactoring

We’re continuing to refactor messaging as explained in our July update. However, this month we’re starting to make the architectural changes. 

The first change we’re making is to improve how the system triggers an email to our users when a message is sent. This is a purely technical change and users will not notice a change to the messaging feature, or a change to the emails sent from PKB. The benefit of this change is that if we encounter an issue with emails, we can deploy a fix to emails without causing downtime for the rest of the system. We expect this work to continue into September.

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