New information standard for digital maternity records

As part of the national plans to improve maternity services, a new standard has been published to support the introduction of digital maternity records and promote consistency across the service.

The NHS is changing the way information is shared between women, their midwives, doctors and other members of the health care team by standardising the information held in digital maternity records. Once implemented, the new standard will enable improved information exchange between IT systems and services across England.

It is hoped that this will save time for health care professionals and women by ensuring they have the necessary information, in the right place at the right time, to make decisions for safer care.

The Professional Record Standards Body has developed the new standard alongside NHS Digital, with support from the Royal College of Physicians’ Health Informatics Unit, and will enable midwives and clinicians to provide all-round care for women and their babies, and mothers to better manage their own health and that of their child more easily in future.

Dr Karen Selby, PRSB’s representative from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Creating standards for digital exchange of health information is a significant step forward in supporting the work of the Maternity Transformation Programme. It is a great example of collaborative working, as health professionals and women have all been involved in creating the standard.”

Nic Fox, director of Primary and Social Care Technology at NHS Digital, added: “This has been a great example of collaboration between organisations. The Maternity Record Standard will ensure consistent maternity records which will lay the foundation for interoperable exchange of information throughout the care pathway of the woman, regardless of location and systems in use.”

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