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I want my data and I want it now!

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Apparently we have to allow our patients unfettered access to their medical records by 2015.  We will even have to actively promote this to our patients as part of the new contract from 2015 as recently reported in Pulse GPs told to offer SCR information to patients online ‘as a minimum’ by 2015

Now don’t get me wrong, I think this is a good idea and even though it will be the very basics of the medical record such as major diagnoses, current medication and known allergies, I do have some reservations which I’ve previously commented on in my blog ‘Offering online records access opens a Pandora’s Box of safety issues’ and I think my previous concerns are still valid.

There is also a threat to GP income here as well which is worth mentioning.

GPs quite rightly charge a fee for providing a private medical attendant (PMA) report on a patient and for complex patients I’m sure this will remain.  However, for less complex patients financial organisations may well simply ask their client to freely access and share a copy of their online medical record.

I wonder if it’s possible that patients may actually be asked to provide their security details so the interested party can access it for them?  Who is then responsible for this data?  Has the patient taken over responsibility as data controller for their own record if they choose to share their access details?

This is clearly a minefield and we are caught in it.

Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire. You can tweet him at @DrHMoss.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Vinci Ho

    Take one step backwards . Where is the evidence that patients were misdiagnosed or even died as a result of lack of access to the FULL medical record in , say, out of hours?
    Happy Christmas, mate.(and also to all computer geeks. PS. Have been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory lately😁)

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  • The 'pandora's box' argument does not wash with me (having just accessed my records, which made some eye-popping reading). Records should be clinical, factual resumes of the patient's health - not the secret diary of a GP.

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  • I've had online access to my own health record for a year and am surprised by what does NOT get written down. I suspect self-defensive record keeping by my GP.

    Otherwise I've found it very useful.

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