District nurses have regular contact with patients, often seeing them every day.
They keep an electronic record of their visits which includes information on risks, allergies, next of kin, care plans for care patients are receiving at home.
Up till recently no-one but community nurses was able to access these records. Now, this information has been made available to GPs and to hospital staff.
GPs can now view when a patient was last visited by a district nurse.
Hospital staff can see contact details for the patient which is particularly useful when patients are confused and unable to provide this information.
Other nurses, such as Tissue Viability nurses who provide specialist advice on the care of pressure ulcers (or bed sores), can see care plans relating to any pressure ulcers the patient may have on admission.
This improved sharing of patient information and more effective communication between primary, community and hospital staff improves care and patient safety.