Healthcare record standards

The RCP's Health Informatics Unit (HIU) develops standards for the structure and content of health and care records and communications, to enable information sharing to support integrated care.

What we are doing

We are currently working on the following projects:

Transfers of care

The HIU has also led the development of interoperable transfer of care standards, with clinical leadership provided by relevant royal colleges and engagement with front-line professionals and patient and carer representation. These include:

The work was carried out on behalf of the Professional Record Standards Body and the standards are endorsed by royal colleges and specialist societies.

Standards are developed using published evidence and consultation with patients and health and care professionals. All standards go through a patent and professional assurance process to ensure they are fit for purpose prior to publication.

Who's involved


What we have produced

The standards for the clinical structure and content of patient records were developed through extensive consultation to ensure that they address the requirements of clinicians, patients, carers and health information technology professionals.

Example templates for admission, referral, handover and discharge records have been developed to capture the information defined in the record standards.

This document defines editorial principles to govern the development of standards for the structure and content of health records.

Tools to audit patient records against the record standards have been developed to support patient safety and quality of care, professional best practice and assist compliance with Information Governance.

This report summarises the deliberations and recommendations of a Joint Working Group established in September 2010 by the Department of Health Informatics Directorate in England.

This document sets the standards for general medical record keeping by physicians in hospital practice.

The standards for patient records developed have undergone a formal risk assessment process to ensure clinical safety. At each step of the consultations to develop standards – be they workshops, meetings, national surveys – hazards were identified, reviewed and mitigations/actions considered.