Background Being able to identify early health changes before they manifest in everyday life, allows to correct them immediately and to prevent progress to irreversible stages (Oom, 2008). In this context, accessing and sharing information between different health care institutions and their professionals is an asset for the child and allows improving quality in care.
Aims and Method We aim to describe how is the information access and sharing in Matosinhos Local Health Care Unit (ULSM) and highlight their importance through a literature review.
Results The ULSM has two networked applications in support for nursing teams and medical teams that allow them to share information. There are also manuals of coordination between different services including primary care and hospital care. Concerning primary care, in the specific case of the Family Health Unit Infesta, a joint manual resulting from a simple set of rules was established. It aims reducing bureaucracy, streamline and simplify referral procedures (Gonçalves et al, 2011), becoming clear and advantageous to the parties involved in the process.
Conclusions Access to patient clinical information is available 24/7 in all sectors of ULSM, allowing a contextualized and continuous monitoring, leading to higher quality health care for the child. The ability to use data in a useful way, allows reducing errors, enhancing patients and clinician communication, provides cost savings and improves quality in many areas across the full-spectrum of paediatric primary care (Adams & Baucher, 2003; Simonian, 2007; Hinman & Davidson, 2009).