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Showing posts from January, 2011

End of MRC GPRD Access Scheme

For the past few years, the MRC has funded access to GPRD data for UK researchers. This has been very helpful in increasing expertise in the use of GPRD amongst UK researchers and boosting the number of academic papers that use the database. This scheme has now ended and the effects this might have on research were discussed in a recent BMJ news article. The UK has one of the highest uses of electronic patient records in primary care, and these records have been a great resource for biomedical researchers.

Before the licence scheme was implemented the main users of the database were based in the United States, Spain, and Switzerland but that after it was set up this was no longer the case. Although the MRC will continue to fund access to the data via its research grants schemes, the process for applying for access to the database will be much lengthier and because applying for the council’s grants is highly competitive it is likely that most grant applications will be unsuccessful. He…

Awareness of stroke symptoms and risk factors amongst stroke patients

Effective treatments exist for the acute management and prevention of stroke, but their uptake depends upon public awareness of stroke symptoms and risk factors. A recent study by Julia Slark and colleagues published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease assessed both types of knowledge amongst patients who had suffered a stroke and who were therefore at high-risk of suffering another stroke. The study found that knowledge was poor amongst many patients in this group. This is concerning as they are at high risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.The findings suggest that more effective methods are needed about educating stroke patients about their risk factors; and how they can reduce their risk of a subsequent stroke, as well as recognising the symptoms of a new stroke should one occur.

Dr Curran & Partners now on Facebook

The general practice where I work, Dr Curran and Partners, now has its own Facebook page. The page has some basic information about the practice that complements the information on the practice's website. With over 500 million Facebook users worldwide, the social networking site has become an important method for healthcare organisations to link with their patients.

Recording of adverse events in English general practice

An study published in the journal Informatics in Primary Care examined the recording of adverse events in English general practice. Although the majority of patient contact within the UK's National Health Service (NHS) occurs in primary care, relatively little is known about the safety of care in this setting compared to the safety of hospital care. This study aimed to identify the rate and types of adverse events that might be recorded in primary care through routinely collected data. Records from the calendar year 2007 were available for 69 682 registered patients from 25 practices, consisting of 680 866 consultations. A number of adverse events could be detected through terms contained in certain chapters of the Read code system. These events include injuries due to surgical and medical care (0.72 cases of per 1000 consultations) and adverse drug reactions (1.26 reactions per 1000 consultations). The findings suggested that there is scope to develop more accurate and reliable m…