Patients get online access to health records
By Sasa Jankovic
Patients with online apps including the NHS App can now read new entries in their health records in line with NHS Long Term Plan commitments to provide patients with digital access to their information.
NHS Digital says its research shows increasing numbers of patients want easy access to their own health information, including 80 per cent of the 28 million NHS App users, but warns this means “GPs will need to consider the potential impact of each entry, including documents and test results, as they add them to a patient’s record.”
However, patients will not see personal information such as test results until they have been checked and filed, giving clinicians the chance to speak to patients first and GPs can customise or remove access for individuals if this is deemed inappropriate.
In an introductory letter about the change, Dr Ursula Montgomery, director of primary care at NHS England, and its medical director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani, stressed that: “Healthcare providers and partnership organisations should continue to share important information with general practice” but that “this can be redacted from the patient view when necessary."
They added: “To reduce the risk of inappropriate disclosure, providers should clearly identify when correspondence shared with general practice should not be visible to a patient, as its disclosure could result in serious harm.”
The Pharmacists Defence Association alerted its members to the potential impacts of entries that are made to patient records.
“All members working in primary care are familiar with the changes, and what this might mean for the delivery of patient care, for example around safeguarding and involving patients in decision-making,” it said.
"As always, any pharmacist must ensure that they are making clear and contemporaneous consultation records for all the patient-related work which they do.”