From next month, patients will be able to access all new entries in their online health records, if their GP practice use TPP or EMIS IT systems.
According to NHS Digital, patients who use online accounts – such as the NHS App – and whose surgery uses TPP, will be able to view entries from December 2021 onwards. While, patients on an EMIS system should expect to see theirs from ‘early 2022’. Practices which use the Vision system are still currently in discussions over access.
NHS Digital says that patients will not be able to see specific personal information, such as positive test results, until they have been ‘checked and filed’, so that GPs have the opportunity to contact them first. The body adds that the move, ‘supports NHS Long Term Plan commitments to provide patients with digital access to their health records’, and also shares its aim for patients to be able to request their historic coded records from 2022, through the NHS App.
As ’80 per cent of the 18 million NHS App users’ are said to want ‘easy access to their health records and personal information’, it’s hoped that the initiative will reduce queries around negative test results and referrals, and encourage patient awareness and empowerment in regards to their health.
However, NHS Digital does advise General Practice staff to ‘be aware that patients will be able to see their future records’, and to ensure ‘sensitive information is redacted as it is entered’ into systems, with a support package and training sessions available to guide clinicians and staff in these areas.
It’s been a time of change within primary care recently, particularly when it comes to patient data and records, as this year has already seen plans for the GP Data for Planning and Research programme announced, and GP appointment data now set to be published at a practice level by spring next year.
In addition, the NHS, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care, also shared its blueprint for improving patient access to GP services, entitled ‘Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice‘, in which it revealed plans for patients to be able to rate their GP surgery by text message, while data on the level of patient access to GP services per practice could also be made available to view.
NHS Digital’s announcement on patient access to health records is available here. To share your views on the subject with us, email email@example.com, with the subject line ‘patient health record entries’.