As many people will be aware there is a developing trend for patients to have access to their own medical records. As medical records become available electronically each of us potentially could have access to our medical records in the same way that we book flights or do our online banking. Currently in England patients have access to electronic medical records and many find this empowering and beneficial.
However there are some challenges which need to be addressed. There is a concern that people might, on accessing their records read something that is worrying or unexpected. This should not happen if patients are fully informed about their treatment and care. Security of personal medical information is another concern. On a regular basis we hear about security breaches of personal information that is held centrally. It would be unacceptable if this were to happen to medical records. People would need to be reassured that there were robust systems in place to ensure that medical information that is held about them is secure and that access is limited and available by permission.
How do you feel about having greater access to your medical records? If you would you like to join in on a debate about patients’ access to medical records on Wednesday 11th November in Belfast contact Lindsay Smyth at the Patient and Client Council on 028 9032 1230.
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