Fears over e-care records safety20th August 2007
Doctors have called for more evidence that electronic methods for storing patient information are secure and function well.
The government is working towards the implementation of plans to place patient records on a national database. The system, known as HealthSpace, will store patient information electronically.
The system is currently being tested at four primary care trusts. If it is successful, the DoH plans to implement it across England in 2008.
HealthSpace allows GPs and patients to choose and book appointments, gain access to their stored health records and search through NHS contact details.
Dr Pagliari, a senior lecturer in primary care, told the BMJ: "Electronic personal health records may improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care and empower patients, but further research is required to demonstrate the benefits and risks."
"Evidence of the impact of electronic personal health records on clinical, safety, economic and psychosocial outcomes is urgently required."
She warned that some patients might not want to have "sensitive" data stored in one place and could find poor test results distressing.
Dr Gillian Braunold of Connecting for Health, the organisation responsible for the implementation of the new system, acknowledged there were concerns over patients' privacy and electronic safety.
She said they had worked hard to ensure the service had the "highest levels" of security.
Patients would have to enter a password to access the system. They would also need to type in a random series of numbers, generated every time they logged in.
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Title: Fears over e-care records safety
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3812
Date Added: 20th Aug 2007