MIG (The Medical Interoperability Gateway)

This is a new system that has now become available in primary care. The concept is that other health providers (eg DevonDoctors Out of Hours GPs, or Derriford Hospital ) would be able to access basic clinical information if needed.

The clinician seeing the patient at the time would have to seek that patient’s consent, and whatever is seen cannot be stored or held (“read-only view”).  The data remains under the practice’s control, is not transferred and cannot be altered by third parties. We would be notified that a given patient’s records had been accessed. The clinical record cannot be seen without the patient’s consent in the consultation, at that time. Consent is valid for that consultation only.

The information that could be shared is limited. This would include medical summary of diagnoses, problems and operations, prescribed medication, drug allergy, investigation results such as blood tests. Blood pressure measurements, a list of referrals and hospital admissions, and patient demographics (name, date of birth, address) would also be available. The most important point is that the “free text” of what is said or written within consultations would not be visible.

There is great potential clinical benefit from this system, and should help out of hours and hospital doctors to provide much better informed and safer care. This system is already in widespread use elsewhere in England, including all practices in Cornwall and over half in Devon already.

We appreciate that there are great sensitivities and anxieties about the prospect of “outsiders” accessing personal medical information. This system has been long in the making and unlike some recent projects, is designed specifically for the patients’ benefit and healthcare. It will help to prevent patients having to go through their entire medical history and list of medication every time they speak to another doctor. Feedback from the medical side has also been very positive, for avoiding unnecessary investigations and prescribing errors.

We wish to give plenty of notice before signing up so that people can have the opportunity to opt out if they wish. All you have to do is let Yealm Medical Centre know in writing, by post or email. We can then put on the relevant codes to block access. There is one code for “Total prevention” of on-line sharing of data, and a different code for “MIG-only” prevention of on-line sharing.

This is independent of previous (and still valid and working) “blocking codes” against uploading of data to the National NHS spine database, and the care.data programme that many of you have asked us to apply.

If you do wish to opt out, please state whether you wish the “Total” code or “MIG only” code. But please remember that this is not some blanket access to patient data, but a case by case process with consent required each and every time.

We plan to sign up and link at Yealm Medical Centre from October 1st, 2015.

For our Fair Processing (Privacy) Notice please click on 'General Info' on the main menu (on the left hand side) and then click on 'Data Protection' (which can be found on the right hand side of the page).

For more information, please follow the link below.