Objectives: The prognosis for individuals infected with HIV has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, with patients living longer and requiring other specialist services. It is apparent that other health care professionals' access to clinical information about a patient’s HIV care differs between centres in the UK. Lack of awareness of an individual's HIV status may compromise their clinical care. The aim of this survey was to establish current practice and to identify the views of clinicians caring for HIV-infected patients.
Methods: Lead Consultants in all Genitourinary Medicine departments in the UK were invited to complete a questionnaire regarding use of combined HIV and hospital notes and ability of General Practitioners and other hospital specialists to access information about individual patient's HIV care. Clinician's opinions on the 'normalisation' of HIV management were also sought.
Results: Combined notes (outpatient and inpatient) were used by 12% (16/130) of respondents. The patient's identifying number was used to request blood tests in 86%. Of respondents 42% had encountered difficulties in communication that affected delivery of care for an HIV positive patient.
Conclusions: Centres using combined notes identified a higher frequency of communication with other doctors and specialties, suggesting a higher standard of care. Physicians involved in HIV care should consider combining patients HIV and hospital notes for improved clinical care.
- medical records