New standard for digital maternity records

By Hollie Ewers on 14 September 2018 NHS

A new information standard has been published to support the introduction of digital maternity records in England.

Produced by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB), the standard will ensure that record information is consistent and can be shared more easily across healthcare services in the future.

Once implemented, the new standard will enable improved information exchange between IT systems and services across England, standardising and changing the way that data in maternity records is shared between women, their midwives, doctors and other members of the healthcare team.

This will save time for healthcare 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 new guidance builds on the Healthy child record standard, published by the PRSB in 2017, and together the new standards should provide a seamless pathway for maternal and newborn care. This will enable midwives and clinicians to provide all-round care for women and their babies, and mothers will be able to manage their own health and that of their child more easily in future.

The standard has been developed by the PRSB and NHS Digital, with support from the Royal College of Physicians’ Health Informatics Unit. It has been informed by the views of midwives, obstetricians, mothers and other professionals to ensure the right information is included.

RCM head of quality and standards Mandy Forrester said the new standard will support better continuity of care: ‘This will help to make care safer, as clinicians will have access to key information about the woman, such as existing medical problems.

‘It should also avoid the need for women to repeat information to different clinicians during their pregnancy journey. This is a positive step and one that we welcome.’

Access the maternity record standard here.