Reedyford Health Care is pleased to be able to offer this as a service to our patients.
There is no obligation on GP practices to allow patients to access their health records online, however there are several practices around the UK which have been offering online access to their patients with good results. We are piloting access to online records for our patients at Reedyford Health Care on an individual basis.
In 2012 the UK Government announced that they plan on making online access to health records available to all patients from 2015. They have not issued clear guidelines about how to manage the three scenarios shown below which would make it difficult to be able to offer this to all our patients. We appreciate that you may feel that these restrictions on access are less than ideal. We may review these restrictions once we are more familiar with the practicalities of offering patients access to their records online.
We are currently accepting patients onto the online access to records service. Please enquire with reception about access to records.
Not All Patients Can Access Their Records Online
There are a few groups of patients who we are unable to offer this service to at this time. There are only a few reasons why people may not be allowed access. These rules have been chosen for specific reasons and to comply with the law around patients having access to their records. All patients have the option of asking to see their health records. The option of being able to see your record without a member of the practice staff being present is a big advantage to having access to records online but this also presents us with some new challenges.
Patients Who Cannot Have Access to Online Records Include:
- Children under the age of 16 years. This is to satisfy the issues around child protection and age at which a child becomes ‘Gillick Competent’.
- Anyone with third party information in their records (unless the third party gives their consent for the information to be shared). As this is a pilot project and to keep things simple, any records that include free text entries made after 1.1.2013 which involve another person will be excluded from this pilot. An example of this would be if the notes said, “The patient is worried that Florence Capp is drinking too much alcohol”. The patient would not be able to see this part of his records unless Florence agreed to this information being shared. Florence has identifiable information about her in the records which belong to somebody else.
- Anyone who may be harmed by accessing their records. The general concept seems to be that most patients would benefit from being able to access their records, but this would not be suitable for every patient. For example, if a patient tended to worry about things, then the doctor may decide that having immediate access to their records, including when the GP practice is shut, would be less advisable.
- Anyone with documented history of domestic abuse.
Consider Carefully Whether Online Access is Appropriate to You
- You may get to see a test result before the doctor who requested it has had the chance to see this or comment on it.
- If you are concerned that you may be pressurized into sharing your medical record with someone who you would not want to share it with then we recommend that you do not ask for access to your records online.
- Sometimes people start to forget about bad things that have happened to them in the past. Seeing your medical record could bring these to the front of your mind again, and could give you distress.
What You Can Do and See In Your Online Records
Patient Access allows the practice to specify what parts of the records can be seen. Patients can view:
- Active and past medical problems
- Blood test result
- X-ray results
- Laboratory results.
- “Free text” notes made by clinical staff after January 1 2012. This will enable patients to have a reasonable amount of their records to view. We have had to limit the amount of free text entries visible as part of this pilot to make the process of reviewing the records more achievable.
- Request repeat prescriptions online
- Allergies recorded