Data watchdog backs electronic patient records

The Information Commissioner’s Office has given its support to patient record systems that allow open access to health professionals, despite concerns among GPs surrounding confidentiality.

The personal records watchdog said that systems that give access to patient records to those that are not directly involved in their care are unlikely to fall foul of the Data Protection Act.

A spokeswoman said that the commission had taken into account the need for a number of health professionals to gain access to information in many cases as well as the ethical integrity of health professionals.

She added that a further safeguard against data protection infringement was having an audit trail in place to detect when information is looked at inappropriately.

GPs’ joint IT committee chairman Dr Paul Cundy, who is concerned about confidentiality over a blood test system at his local hospital, St Helier, in Carshalton, said: ‘I just don’t think it is good enough to say that relying on professionalism means that there will not be an infringement. There needs to be more secure systems in place.’

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said that in the absence of more sophisticated systems he felt confident that professionalism and data trails were good enough deterrents to records system abuse.

gpletters@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Vaccination of care home residents against COVID-19 will start on 14 December in...

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

Following the MHRA's approval of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 jab the government has...

NHS must keep doctors who returned in pandemic as overseas supply dries up, says GMC

NHS must keep doctors who returned in pandemic as overseas supply dries up, says GMC

Doctors who rejoined the NHS workforce in the pandemic must be urged to stay to help...

GPs unlikely to begin COVID-19 vaccination for 'at least two weeks', says BMA

GPs unlikely to begin COVID-19 vaccination for 'at least two weeks', says BMA

GP practices are unlikely to receive stocks of COVID-19 vaccine 'for at least another...

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published a final...

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

The MHRA has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in the UK and...