Access to Records
Your medical record is a life-long history of your consultations, illnesses, investigations, prescriptions and other treatments and your GP is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of these records.
There is a balance between your privacy and safety, and we will normally share some information about you with others involved in your health care, unless you ask us not to. This could include doctors, nurses and therapists involved in the treatment or investigation of your medical problems.
Our practice staff have limited access to medical records as they need to notify the health authority of registration and perform various filing tasks on the medical records. All staff have a legal, ethical and contractual duty to protect your privacy and confidentiality. We are required by the Data Protection Act 1998 to allow you access to your medical records and for you to know how your personal information is used.
If you have any questions regarding your personal information or if you would like to see your health record please write to the Practice Manager. A mutually convenient time will be arranged if you wish to see your record and if any copies or printouts are requested by you a small charge may be levied to cover our administrative costs.
Life Assurance companies frequently ask for medical reports on prospective clients from the GP.These are always accompanied by your signed consent form. GPs must disclose all relevant medical conditions unless you ask us not to do so. In that case we would have to inform the insurance company that you have instructed us not to make a full disclosure to them. You also have the right, should you request it, to see reports to insurance companies or employers before they are sent.
Online Access to Your Medical Records
This practice is now offering you the opportunity to use the internet to securely view your electronic medical record in a way that is easy to use. This will give you useful links to approved information such as patient information leaflets about diseases, tests, investigations, support groups and medications etc. There are also links to websites such as NHS Direct Online and Patient.co.uk where you can find additional information to help you understand and educate yourself about what you read in your health record.
What are the advantages?
- The practice believes that it is important for improved patient care and learning that you are involved in your healthcare as much as possible.
- If you are waiting for results you will see them as soon as they are added to your record and you will not have to ring the surgery.
- You can choose to share your records with those treating you anywhere in the NHS, and anywhere in the world. You may also wish to share your records with family members.
- You can look up your list of immunisations.
- Accessing your record on computer will help you to understand and make use of the information in your records and empower you to become more involved in your medical care.
- Access can lead to discussions with your health professionals and helps encourage a more open and honest relationship.
What are the risks for me?
- There may be something in your record that you do not want to be reminded about.
- Some terms may be difficult to understand as the notes are made by doctors and nurses for each other. There will be links to explanations to help you.
- Test results that are abnormal and are added to your record say, on a Friday, may worry you over the weekend if you cannot see the doctor or nurse to discuss them.
What about security?
- The information you view in the Medical Record Viewer comes from the clinical system at the GP practice with access having the same level of security as online banking. Nothing changes with the way your medical information is stored. Your information will remain under the control of your GP as it does now. And like online banking you control viewing by using your PIN and pass words. You will be responsible for keeping your log in details safe.
- Logging off or a power failure will clear all the information on your computer system.
- Always remember to log off the Medical Record Viewer when you have finished viewing your medical record.
- The practice needs to make sure that you cannot view third party information (information provided by someone else), which you do not have a legal right to see. It is very unlikely that your record contains such information, but the practice must put procedures in place to safeguard both you and third parties against this risk.
Important: If you do not want to register to use the Medical Record Viewer this will not affect your treatment or your relationship with your GP practice in any way: you can still use all the practice’s services exactly as before.
To be able to use the system you must have access to a PC or smart phone with internet access. You must then register, by bringing in proof of identity (ideally a passport or photo driving license) to the surgery along with a signed consent form.
A member of the team will register you for access to your records and will issue you with initial log in details.
Note: Any information about you that the practice holds is subject to the regulations in the Data Protection Act 1998. The consent agreement is between you and the practice.
If you lose your access information and/or password, ask the practice staff for help.
Using the Patient Access Medical Record Viewer
The system can be accessed either from our surgery website, www.liphookandliss.co.uk or via https://patient.emisaccess.co.uk. Simply follow the instructions on screen to set up your Patient Access account.
Errors and missing information
If you find any errors in your medical record, or if any information is missing, you should tell the practice immediately.
If you see someone else’s medical information, you must log off the Patient Access Medical Record Viewer immediately and tell the practice.
Problems and concerns
The Patient Access Medical Record Viewer is designed to exclude information which you should not have access to for legal reasons, and information which could seriously harm you or someone else. If you see such information through error and are upset by it, you should discuss it with your doctor.
If you think that someone might bully you into showing them your record, it would be best not to register to use the Patient Access Medical Record Viewer.
After viewing your medical record, you should consult your doctor if:
- You have any problems or concerns, for example, if there is something in your medical record that you do not want your family to know about.
- There is anything in your medical record that you do not understand. Remember that your medical record is designed to be used by doctors, so it may contain abbreviations and technical terms. You will probably understand most of what you read, and the links in your medical record will lead you to more detailed explanations, but ask your doctor if you need more information.
- You are worried about test results in your medical record (especially abnormal results).
- You want to tell the doctor something about your partner, child or another person in confidence. Remember that if the doctor records the information, the other person will be able to see it in their own medical record.
Can I view my child’s record?
Legally, there is no automatic presumption of capacity for people under 16 in England and therefore, where a child is considered capable of making decisions about his or her medical treatment, the consent of the child must be sought before a parent or other third party can be given access. For this reason it is Practice policy to allow parental access for children between the ages of 0 – 11 years old only. Once a child reaches the age of 16 they can apply to have access to their own medical records online.