Guest Blogger Marc Southern on Putting medical records in the hands of the patient
6th October 2014 by Neeta Camadoo
When online banking was first introduced it seemed like an alien concept. Now years later it’s part of everyday life. The new alien concept is online access to our personal medical records. Some patients are already looking at and using their medical records online; some are even able to create their own personal health records (PHRs). Electronic medical records (EMRs) aren’t new - most GPs and health organisations keep medical records using secure platforms such as EMIS. What is changing is that more patients will soon be able, and choose to have online access to their records. How is this happening? Currently 60% of GP surgeries have record systems that allow patients online access however, less than 1% offer this service. The Government has proposed that by 2015 every patient will have the option to view their records electronically. To implement this, several hurdles need to be overcome:Back
- Interoperability issues need to be addressed - primary care medical records are currently held in 17 different third party platforms;
- Data needs to be easily accessible - most of these third party systems have very specific, convoluted methods to access patients’ data.
- Microsoft’s HealthVault – patients can also create their own PHR that isn’t linked to an institution or private company
- Healthlocker (on Microsoft’s HealthVault platform) – A tool provided by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to access care plans and keep track of health
- Handlemyhealth – enabling patients to track and manage their health across primary and secondary care