The convenience to view personal medical records on the home PC is no longer a far fetched idea, but forms the core of the novel NHS IT system, slated to span the whole of England. The medical electronic records, spearheaded by 'Connecting for Health' seeks to improve the quality of patient care, enabling access to personal medical records from the confines of their homes.
Communication about this plan will be sent to patients and they will be given eight weeks to go through their records and voice any areas of concern. Further, it will be the patients' decision entirely to choose preferred details in the medical record; they could also choose to keep their medical records 'private'. This makes it important for patients to have knowledge of their rights.
Dr Liaqat Natha of the Kearsley Medical Centre in Bolton, who will be involved with testing the system, said: "There are huge potential benefits from making patient records available to all staff caring for them, through the secure NHS network."
The home access medical system, slated to be introduced this year, can be accessed through the Health Space website. People will be given passwords to view their records from home. The security of the site will be a priority issue and the envisaged protection will be far more stringent then even websites that enable online banking.
Marlene Winfield, the National Patient Lead for the organization, said: "We would be very foolish if we didn't use the strongest available safety measures. For patients, this will be a huge leap forward. They will be able to see data such as test results and discharge notes and to add information such as whether or not they need wheelchair access for appointments."
Certainly a leap forward in enabling superior patient care.