Information about you and the care you receive can be shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.
Doctors, nurses and sometimes admin staff have access to the Electronic Care Record. This allows information kept in different places where you might have received treatment to be accessed from any hospital, clinic or GP surgery. The system is very secure and only people with a password can sign in. At the Health Centre, we can look up letters written by consultants, X-Ray results and blood tests taken by the hospitals. In the hospitals, doctors can see what medication you are on and results from blood tests we have taken. They can also see letters written by their collegues in other departments and hospitals.
As you can see, this is helping doctors to avoid duplication and giving them the information they need to make decisions about the best way to treat patients. It will be a great help in A&E and to the doctors who work in Out of Hours as patients or their families can't always remember all their medications or when they last had tests done or when they were seen at the hospital.
Your records cannot be accessed without your consent. Here at the Health Centre, we will ask for your consent before looking at your records. You can give your consent for just one occasion or for a whole year. That consent covers anybody else who has a good reason for looking at your records. The system is monitored very closely to ensure that records are not being looked at inappropriately. There are occasions when it is not possible for us to get consent (patient is unconscious or in a nursing home) and a doctor will make a judgement on how important it is to be able to access records in these circumstances. We always need to justify why we have looked at records without the patient's consent.
You always have a choice. If you are not happy for your medical information to be shared, please just tell the doctor or nurse that you do not consent.