NHS IT, Records and Data

28.08.12

Major change needed for online access to patient records – 2020Health

Less than 1% of GP surgeries provide online access to patient health records, new research suggests. This is despite evidence showing that patients who take up access secure better health outcomes. 

2020Health has been researching the take-up of online access to patient health records, which can be particularly valuable concerning appointment booking and repeat prescriptions.

Over half the patients polled said that they already use the internet to assist in health monitoring and have checked their symptoms online before visiting a GP. 

The Department of Health has projected an uptake of 5% by 2015, but 2020Health suggests significant work in infrastructure and culture change is needed to achieve this. 

Julia Manning, chief executive of 2020Health, said: “The barriers to uptake surround culture and change more than technology. 

“Our work generally confirmed that where already provided, electronic access facilities are well liked by patients. The evidence points towards an increase in patient knowledge, communication and satisfaction.” 

And John Cruickshank, author of the report, said: “The benefits of electronic records access are most palpable to those living with chronic conditions or disability, whose care accounts for 70% of all NHS spending. 

“What’s most important here is that in order for such a system to work, a major change in culture and attitude is required. Patients need to move from being passive recipients of care to being much more involved in its planning and management. The evidence increasingly suggests that patients who engage in this way enjoy far better health outcomes.”

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