data codes through eyeglasses


Welcome to July’s instalment of our development blog. This blog includes changes we made in May and June, as well as those coming in July. 

At PKB, we are committed to building open, read/write APIs that follow the HL7 FHIR standard. This is a large project that includes making infrastructure improvements so that we can develop new features more efficiently and scale our development work to meet demand (read more on our FHIR roadmap). There will be fewer minor feature changes while we’re focusing on this important work.

FHIR API development

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is the global industry standard for passing healthcare data between systems. We are ensuring that our information model and APIs meet this standard so they can be used to transfer data quickly, no matter what the care setting is. 

Organisations can send clinical data using our FHIR endpoint in either STU3 or R4 versions of FHIR. We are currently mapping and moving existing appointment data in our database to a new data model that follows the HL7 FHIR standard. This will allow us to aggregate data that we receive from different sources and routes. Once completed, we will focus on allowing it to be extracted via an R4 FHIR API and displaying the aggregated appointment data in our application for users.

You can read more about our FHIR development work in our FHIR roadmap.

Appointment change requests

Patients will be able to request to cancel or change their appointments from their PKB record, where organisations have enabled this workflow. On the ‘View appointment’ page, patients will select ‘Request change’ or ‘Request cancellation’. When they do this, a message will be sent to the responsible team, who can review their request and, where appropriate, make the change on their internal system. The updated appointment details will then be visible in the patient’s record. This is a feature that is configurable and can be switched on and off at an Organisation level. 

Day of the week displayed with appointment

Appointment dates on the ‘View appointment’ page now include the day of the week. The date is in the following format: Wednesday, 5 May 2022. This meets the NHS Digital guidelines for displaying dates

NHS App users can see their ‘Professionals’ sharing page

Patients can now see and change which teams and individual professionals have access to their record from within the NHS App. Click on the new ‘Record sharing’ button from the ‘Your health’ menu in the NHS App to visit this page. For more information, please read our manual page

Professionals Sharing Page within the NHS App

Improved ‘Add medicines’ page

We improved the ‘Add medicines’ page to simplify the process of adding medicines. The changes are:  

  • The page is divided into sections to make it easier to fill out.
  • Patients can attach files to their medicines, such as copies of their prescription or leaflets.
  • The start date for medicines is now optional.

Read more about our new Medicines page in our manual. 

Improved ‘Add Medicines’ page

Statistics reports improvements 

When organisations send data to patient records, it is now processed and added immediately. This means that statistics reports include data that has been added to all patient records, whether or not they are registered. Previously, the reports only contained information on data added to registered patients’ records or records that had been accessed by professionals.

Patients stopped getting duplicate email notifications about allergies, diagnoses and medicines sent by hospitals

Hospital systems send demographic updates for patients routinely. Often, these systems send patients’ allergies, diagnoses and medicines as part of the demographic updates because these data are supported in the same HL7 message type (ADT A28 and ADT A31 messages).

In the future, we’ll only send email notifications for these data types when updates contain new clinical data. Until then, we will not send email notifications for allergies, diagnoses and medicines that were added via HL7, to avoid confusing patients when there has been no change to their record. 

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