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English patients want electronic access to their records

Karl Flinders

English patients are willing to change doctors to access Electronic Medical Records (EMR), but just 16% of them currently have access, according to Accenture.

The global research of 9000 people from Accenture found there is a major disagreement between what patients want and what doctors want. Over three quarters (77%) of English patients think they should have full access to patient records but only 34% of doctors agree.

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A huge 97% of English patients and 94% of doctors agree patients should have some degree of access to their EMR, but 67% have no access.

Giving access to records to patients could help them manage their own health. According to the research 63% of English patients are not self-tracking personal health information, such as blood pressure, weight and physical activity. This compares to 49% in the other countries surveyed.

“As consumers take more responsibility for managing their own health, the role of digital medical records is shifting from a mere clinical repository to a platform for shared decision-making among patients and doctors,” said Aimie Chapple, managing director for Accenture’s UK health business. “Self-tracking personal health information can help doctors identify health risks much earlier. When patients are part of the record-keeping process, it can increase their understanding of their condition and the treatment needed.”

Nine NHS organisations have started implementing an electronic patient care system, with Accenture and system maker The Phoenix Partnership (TPP). TPP’s SystmOne enables clinicians to access and exchange health information across the NHS. Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust was the first to fully launch and it is being used initially by more than 500 clinicians.

Val Graves, director of community health services, Dorset Healthcare said: “The introduction of a patient administration system is a huge leap forward for both patients and staff. It will enable greater coordination of care, reduce the burden of paperwork and streamline our clinical and administration processes.”

The other organisations in the Southern Community and Child Health Procurement consortium are: Sirona Care & Health, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Plymouth, Community Healthcare, Kent Community Health NHS Trust, Peninsula Community Health, East Sussex Healthcare Trust, Sussex Community Trust and Swindon-based SEQOL social enterprise.


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