Online Access to Medical Records - Six months to go

Online Access to Medical Records - Six months to go

With the target "by April 2015" for patient online access to their medical records, there are some comments in the press about whether or not the GPs will be able to achieve that.

However, I am somewhat perplexed by Dr Mark Porter's comment in the Times today:

Dr Mark Porter: Why you should register for online access to your medical records

What you will discover — once full access is available online to all — is a mine of potentially useful information

This time last year I said I would eat my hat if Jeremy Hunt lived up to his promise to give every patient in England online access to their medical records by 2015. Although I remain convinced that my hat is safe, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by the progress that has been made. Indeed, if anything is now holding the project back, it is not the IT capabilities of NHS GP surgeries, so much as poor awareness among the general public.

I know that whenever I have looked at my GP surgery website (they have got as far as repeat prescription ordering), there is nothing whatsoever about patient access. And it certainly doesn't seem to be lack of patient demand among those who post here. Is our awareness so low? Or have surgeries simply continued not to make any information available - not when they will move forward, nor even that they are going to do so?

Six months doesn't seem very long to get from the current level (a few percent) to 95%.


[Added by helvella: 23/09/2014 07:43]

Fewer than 3% of patients have access to their GP medical records online, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s indicator portal.

24 August 2014

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7 Replies

  • More patient blaming, Rod!

    My surgery is only a couple of years in a new purpose built building. I find it hard to believe they didn't install new IT and telephone systems when they moved but they have frequent crashes of both. I can order prescriptions online but there isn't online patient access to booking appointments or medical records and no mention of when they'll be available on the website.

    My sister's surgery has a Facebook page with various advisories but also no online access for patients.

  • Our surgery has had a website for some years and online appointments for about 4 years, but the latest news on the website is currently about a new proper phone number which started some months ago. There's information about how to access records and our right to see them, but nothing about online access. I'll be very surprised if they're ready in time. The GPs seem to make a virtue of not knowing how use a computer and the rest of the staff live in some sort of time warp and work at half the speed of the rest of us!

  • I used to be able to make appointments and order repeat prescriptions online. In September 2013 the surgery intalled a new computer system. Online access is still "temporarily unavailable."

  • I responded to someone's post a couple of weeks ago about the fact that I have online access to my medical records. As I said in my previous post, it has really put me in the driving seat re. my healthcare. I can check my results before an appointment. In fact at my last appointment my GP said, "You can check your latest TFT results online.... you know what you are doing, if you feel you need to, adjust your meds accordingly as we have discussed".

    The point I want to make is that it is not at all clear on the website itself that you can access your medical records. I had been using it just to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions when I spotted a small notice in the surgery waiting room saying that if you wanted online access to your medical records to have a word with the receptionist. There was an extra level of security in order for me to do this and I had to wait for an additional pin through the post.

    It may be worth just enquiring with the receptionist at your surgery. If enough of us enquire they'll know we are not going to let it drop.

  • Carefully leaving out the plans to sell the information to insurance agencies and others!!

  • I 'bought' a copy of my medical records - paper - but there are many entries with the word "deleted", so I still do not have all my medical records. If they are online will I be able to see ALL of the entries?

  • I recon when it happens be a lot of stuff to correct! Wring details etc

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