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Do you support increased access to patient records?

  • Comments (8)

Article:

Increasing access to patient records

Abstract:

“By 2015, all patients are expected to be able to order prescriptions and book appointments online, as well as being able to access their own GP-held records. This will undoubtedly hold benefits for patients and health professionals, but is likely to present significant challenges for nurses in terms of managing patient expectation and ensuring fair access.”

 

The article explains that increasing patient access can improve transparency, thereby improving patient and health professional relationships. However, it does carry potential risks, such as patients misunderstanding information written about them or taking offence to judgements recorded in their notes.

 

What do you think?

  • Do you support increased access to patient records?
  • Would you alter what you write if you knew patients could read it?
  • In what situations would it be detrimental to care for patients to see their medical notes?
  • Comments (8)

Readers' comments (8)

  • tinkerbell

    Fully support increased access to my records, therefore fully support it for others.

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  • Anonymous

    NO!

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  • Anonymous

    Confidentiality is a huge issue and patients may hold back giving important details to their GP if they think people such as social workers, pharmacy technicians will have access. Whilst it is vital that a summary record is available with essential information on medications and allergies, anything else should be with the patient's full consent not assumed consent. With many services being provided by third party organisations there is no saying where confidential data will end up. Jeremy Hunt appears to think he can solve the issue of incompatible software between hospital trusts and PCC by throwing even more money at it.
    With some hospital trusts providing staff to carry out DWP disability assessments for Personal Independence Payment for Capita and others with DWP contracts, there could be conflict of interests if patient records are referred to. Hospital based HCP rarely know the true home situation. Patients often try to please their HCP, by saying things are improving or they can cope when it is wishful thinking. An OT wrote a report stating I had no problems washing and showering and dressing when assessed in hospital (in a wet room with wheel in shower chair and the OT handing me items as needed)
    Home had stairs, a shower in a bath with no means of me being able to use it, and the only clothes I had managed was a nightdress, and that was with help from the OT.

    Whilst open access to patient records has advantages to HCP and others, it may not always be in the Patient's best interest. Only Patients with computer access and are computer literate will be able to see their own records and point out errors. The latter do happen if someone else has the same name.




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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 4-Sep-2013 11:43 am

    excellent and succinct comment which just about sums it up and voices some people's concerns.

    Whilst brushing my teeth only this morning I remembered I had filled in a medical form for my dentist. I just wonder whether these are passed on as well.

    Obviously the more information one gives about oneself the more widely it is disseminate and I am now very careful about this and would only tell my GP what I wish him to know which is very little indeed, apart from the yarn that has been spun on my records which may belong to another patient. If it ever becomes an issue i will challenge him if and when we get to meet. In the meantime having opted out of a previous note-sharing scheme I hope my choice is still respected.

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  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this about increased ‘patient’ access to their own records, not ‘open’ (as in every Tom, Dick and Harriet!) access to records?

    I'm reposting a comment from another current NT article on the same subject which I think addresses the subject well.
    “I'm all for access to our records. But it will require more time and resources. I had cancer 10 years ago and the consultant actually offered me the opportunity to read my casenotes. I was never an anxious patient and was happy to have further information. I'm an A&E nurse, so Oncology is not my specialty and some parts the extensive pathology report required explanation, as did some of the implications of ongoing analyses and treatment. This took time and skill on the part of the team who looked after me. Time. That's a tricky one for us all at the moment. Things can seem like a good idea until the lack of training, time, resources and staff scupper everything and then you have a dog's dinner. The LCP being a case in point. By all means have access to records. Transparency is an excellent catalyst for safety. But ensure that the right mechanisms are in place to support both the patients and staff.”

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  • tinkerbell

    my understanding of this article was that it was about having access to my own records, not as above has commented every tom dick and harry having access to my records. That's a whole different ball game.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 5-Sep-2013 3:57 pm

    another very good post with a very different slant to my own and i can see there are benefits too but my concern is that once they go on the Internet we have no idea how safe and private they will be. there are fresh scandals almost daily about hacking, stolen data, selling on data to others, etc.


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  • Anonymous

    tinkerbell | 5-Sep-2013 4:55 pm
    from
    Anonymous | 5-Sep-2013 3:57 pm

    That is my understanding.

    My comment was in reply to the two comments prior to mine, who seem to be very concerned that all sorts of people are accessing their records, which I think is a whole other, but nonetheless relevant discussion.

    I think patient access to their records is a good idea, but I do think that we need to make sure we have the staff, training and time to support those patients who would choose to do so. That is why I reposted someone else's comment from a similar article.

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