Haughton Thornley Medical Centres reached another milestone recently with over 1000 patients of Bangladeshi descent in the Hyde area having signed up for full access to their GP electronic health records. This follows an announcement in 2011 when 1000 patients in the practice gained access to their records.
In particular, where patients have low levels of English literacy, having access to their records online gives patients the opportunity to get additional support from loved ones in an easy and practical way. Up-to-date medical information is readily available so that anyone supporting patients who don’t have the literacy capabilities to communicate effectively can make sure the right support is given. This gives the patient better control over their health and well-being. They are able to decide who can and cannot access their health records which instils confidence and reassurance.
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres (HTMC) started offering online access to the full GP electronic health records and other services including appointment setting and re-ordering of repeat prescriptions in 2006 and, since establishing a patient information portal in 2008, the take up of online services provided by EMIS has accelerated with patients also benefiting from a trusted source of health information via the web which links to rich sources of information from a range of providers.
Glen Griffiths helped to co-produce the award-winning practice-based web portal which signposts patients to trusted information from the practice local services as well as national sources too. As take-up of smartphones has accelerated, more patients are also using native apps to view their electronic health records, re-ordering medications on repeat, reviewing test results and letters.
Dr Amir Hannan, GP partner at the practice says “This is an exciting moment in time. The NHS is for all people. We have responded by actively encouraging and supporting patients and their families as well as our staff to sign up via an explicit consent process and gain a better understanding of their healthcare needs. This builds a Partnership of Trust. Overall, 61% of our patients (total 7432) now have full access to their GP electronic health records. We are also now looking forward to offering other digital services including online consultations soon alongside traditional face-to-face and telephone consultations. We believe that well-designed digital services enhance the traditional clinician-patient relationship which enables continuity of care and improved access. Our doctors, nurses, pharmacist, health care assistants and receptionists are all here to help get our patients started. Patients can also responsibly share their information with others caring for them too. We would like to thank everybody who has helped to make this happen.”
Ingrid Brindle, Chair of the award-winning Patient Group at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres says, “One thousand Bangladeshi patients signed up for online access to their GP records is marvellous! This will help these patients to understand their health issues, keep safe and to make better health choices. As a patient group, we have worked hard to encourage all our patients to sign up for online access and have run workshops for any of our patients who would like support with using them. We are very lucky to have such a forward looking and supportive practice. I speak at conferences all over the country and am constantly amazed at how few patients are able to access all their information not just small parts of it. If you are one of our patients and not yet signed up…… what is stopping you? Join the rest of the 7,432 of us. Just ask at reception and get the ball rolling! You will be glad you did!”
Explicit Consent process and Responsible Sharing
The practice has developed a simple explicit consent process which requires all patients or their carers to complete an online questionnaire. This checks their understanding before they are granted for all access to their electronic health records and ensures this is done in a responsible manner.
Learn more including watching Dr Hannan explain the consent process in English and Bengali to an audience
You can learn more about how the practice does this by reading this case study http://tinyurl.com/ybsxv7zw.
Responsible sharing is about enabling patients to have full access to their GP electronic health record so that they can be in a position to enable sharing of the record with others who care for them or need access to their records for Direct Care and also potentially for secondary uses too.