Development Update – January 2021

Welcome to the first upcoming development blog of 2021. This month we will focus on:

  • Integration with other software suppliers, such as EMIS and Servelec.
  • Improving the user experience in the ‘Plans’ section.

Social care integration

This month we will finalise work on our social care integration. As explained in November’s blog, this is part of NHS Digital’s ‘Digital Social Care Pathfinders Programme’ which encourages greater collaboration between health and social care. 

To begin with, this integration will only be available for our users in the Care Information Exchange project in London. There will now be an 8th tab labelled ‘Social Care’ in the records of patients linked to any organisation in North West London. 

When a user opens this new page, we will pull any social care information that Servelec’s Mosaic software makes available. The data that can be displayed on this page includes the patient’s social worker’s name, social care assessments, care packages and casenotes.

We will publish an additional blog post later this month with detailed information on how this functionality will work and images of what this will look like in PKB. A step by step guide will also be detailed in our Manual as soon as this functionality is available. 

Restarting EMIS extract service

We are continuing our development work to restart processing GP data from the EMIS extract service. The extract service has not been operational while EMIS has been moving to SNOMED CT codes. 

The necessary changes have been made to allow us to process data in the extracts again. Next, we’re updating our sensitive code list to use SNOMED CT codes and running performance tests. We are aiming to release this in February and will update on progress next month.

FHIR API – Questionnaire Responses

We are continuing our work to make two new FHIR API resources available. These are:

These APIs will allow users to pull consultation information from PKB, such as names of the consultation and the responses of the consultations, once they have been completed by patients and service users. 

Both APIs are currently being tested and these will be released at the end of January or in February, dependent on testing. 

HL7 API – Add email address to register patient with existing record 

The HL7 API will trigger an email invite to register a patient with an existing PKB record. Currently, the HL7 API can only send a registration invitation via email when first creating the medical record. 

Sharing page updates

We are finishing work on the ‘Professionals’ screen found in the ‘Sharing’ section to improve the experience when viewing or editing what access professionals have to the record. This includes optimising the page for small screens and highlighting key information on the page. 

Updating plans with tracking (rescheduled from September 2020)

We will be improving the layout and presentation of the ‘Plans’ pages, which includes updating the styling and moving the monitoring and action plan sections to the top of the page. Over 60% of our users log in using a mobile device so we will also optimise the plans pages for smaller screens. 

We are also improving how data are added to plans which will affect plans that track tests, symptoms and measurements, ensuring that they work seamlessly across all supported devices and browsers. We rescheduled this work from last year so we could incorporate our new tools for adding measurement and test data so that users no longer have to scroll through a list of items.

New measurements

‘Capillary refill time’  and ‘Fluid output from drain’ will be added to the measurements section of PKB. 

December review

The following changes were made at the end of 2020 but were not covered in a blog: 

Privacy policy updated

We have updated our privacy policy to include information about our Break the Glass feature. Our privacy policy can be viewed here:


We have changed the way consultation responses are downloaded. Previously, the responses would download directly to the user’s computer. However, users will now be sent an email containing a download link. This is to make the process more efficient when downloading large numbers of consultation responses. For more information, please visit our manual.

NHS App – Measurements 

Patients with an existing Patients Know Best (PKB) record can access parts of their PKB record from within the NHS App using NHS Login’s encrypted single sign-on. This option is only available to users on a regional basis where the region has specified that PKB is their Patient Held Record Provider. 
We have made some final amendments to the ‘Measurements’ pages so that they can also be accessed from the NHS App. To access the PKB ‘Measurements’ pages from the NHS app, click on ‘Your health’ then ‘Track your health’. You can find more information on PKB in the NHS app here

New languages

We added Gujarati and Marathi to our list of languages. For the full list of 22 languages available within PKB please visit our Manual.

New symptoms

We added two new symptoms to our list of  symptoms: ‘Bad breath – halitosis’ and ‘Bad taste in mouth’.

That’s it! We look forward to sharing details about more new features and updates next month. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more please get in touch.  

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