Principles of Record AccessYou have the right of access to your own health records. These will always be used to
manage your treatment in your best interests. (NHS Constitution)
1. Patients should be given appropriate information and opportunities to exercise control over the healthcare decisions that affect them.
2. Giving patients direct electronic access to their health records is one method of sharing relevant information to help them make informed decisions about their health care.
3. Patients should be encouraged to access their own health records and use them to improve their health and care.
4. Record Access for patients is likely to improve their care and their safety (Section 2.1).
5. Where Record Access is implemented, it should be at no cost to the patient.
6. Health organizations should strive to provide a secure mechanism enabling direct Record Access by patients and, when available, inform patients of the facility and how to use it.
7. Health professionals should encourage patients to access their records, withholding information only in exceptional cases allowed by law (see Section 3.1).
8. Health records are used by health professionals as a tool to provide care. Patient access, or input, must not impact adversely upon the effectiveness or quality of that tool.
9. Health professionals should withhold confidential third-party information from patients before enabling Record Access
10. Computer systems suppliers should develop tools to provide patients with secure access to their records.
The full report by Royal College of General Practitioners is here
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