The Gibraltar Health Authority continues to improve services to its patients and it has now introduced a computerised ‘flagging’ system at St Bernard’s Hospital and the Primary Care Centre.

The system will immediately notify GHA staff, including clinicians and administrative staff, of any serious medical condition or disability as soon as an individual’s electronic health record is accessed. This key function of the electronic health record will provide staff with immediate medical information to assist them to deliver swift care and support to those individuals who may require special assistance.

Head of Primary Care and Deputy Medical Director, Dr Krish Rawal discussed these improvements: “I am extremely pleased with the implementation of the flagging system, which will alert staff of any serious medical condition or disability as soon as a patient presents himself/herself at any clinic or counter. This will not only improve communication between staff and patients when using GHA services, it also means staff will be aware of a patient’s medical details if a patient requires emergency or other assistance. It is my belief that we should be maximising the use of our electronic systems to make patient care better in every way. This is a perfect example.

The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP added: “I am very happy with the launch of the flagging system. It is our aim to make the members of our community feel comfortable and at ease when accessing health care. Communication between patients and staff is vital to achieve this and this new system provides a crucial electronic function, whereby staff will immediately be made aware of important medical issues, and of any special assistance required, in a discreet manner, especially in situations where an individual is attending a counter, at the Primary Care Centre or St Bernard’s Hospital. The medical conditions presently being flagged relate to hearing impairments, dementia and learning disabilities for the primary care electronic system. For those attending the A&E Department, there are electronic ‘flags’ for patients who are at an increased risk of infection such as cancer patients and those taking immune system suppressing medications. We will monitor this excellent scheme and may well add extra flags in the future