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Confidence in confidentiality

16th December 2006

So the planned national patient records system is to go ahead with all 50 million records for the whole population of England incorporated; only those who can demonstrate serious mental distress will be able to keep their record off the system.

Confidentiality, of course, is paramount so security will need to be spot on - but thank goodness for this sensible decision. Like many people I bank on-line and have confidence that my information - and therefore my money - is secure. More secure, in fact, than posting cheques around the country would be.

I have for some time been bemused by the medics' stance on this issue. I know for a fact that they email and post confidential patient information all the time yet somehow seem to trust these inherrently unsafe systems over a secure NHS solution. But I believe it will be secure because it will have to be; the political fallout if it's not would be horrendous.

On the other hand the idea that we have some people on the system and some opting to stay out would quickly degenerate into a dog's breakfast and a two-tier service. In theory the advantages of being on the national spine will quickly become clear - but it does depend on Connecting for Health getting it right and not going bust in the process - and it is this perception of credibility that poses the problem...

 

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Article Information

Title: Confidence in confidentiality
Author: Chris May
Article Id: 1526
Date Added: 16th Dec 2006

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