Dr Jill Loader said she is "very disappointed" that the average record viewing per pharmacy is "0.3 a week", despite 82% of pharmacies having completed training on SCR access.
It is "very difficult" for NHS England to "make the case for a shared record for community pharmacy" when "no one is really using it", she told delegates at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham on Monday (September 26).
Accessing the SCR can improve clinical consultations, such as medicine use reviews, said Dr Loader, who also reminded contractors that the £200-worth of free SCR training ends after March 2017.
Only used "in extreme cases"
Former Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni, who chaired the event on commissioning at which Dr Loader was speaking, pointed out that “miscommunication” during the SCR training could explain the low uptake numbers.
“I have heard from pharmacists that the training teaches them to access [the shared record] only in extreme cases,” he said. “A lot of people are seeing it as an exception, rather than the norm.”
Dr Loader said she had received “the very same feedback”, and suggested the “big responsibility” of having access to a patient’s medical history is another reason that pharmacists are wary of the SCR.
“People are so nervous that they don’t access the record,” she said. However, pharmacists need to “overcome those fears”, she added.
In August, C+D readers suggested that “clunky processes” and a “fear of the unknown” were contributing to low SCR uptake levels.
Other pharmacists took to Twitter this week to try to explain the issues with SCR:
Please can only see dis-benefits at moment. Increased use will switch that mind set https://t.co/tkhRGI1UOf— Darren Powell (@PharmacistDaz) September 26, 2016