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The digitisation of patient data: reassuring patients

Yesterday we talked about tightening up security measures around confidential patient information. Join us today as we’ll discuss the importance of reassuring patients that their data is in safe hands.

Posted: 22 January 2016

If you missed yesterday’s instalment of our weekly feature, click here.

On a day-to-day level, there is much healthcare professionals can do to reassure patients that their data is being respected and kept safe.

Parsa says it’s “not surprising” many patients don’t fully grasp what the digitisation of their data means because “at the moment we are still blessed with a healthcare system that doesn’t always talk in a straightforward manner to people. On the other hand, when it is explained to them, most people are very accepting. Trials have shown that when patients are given a choice, 97 per cent opted in to their data being held digitally.”

And Charlesworth agrees: “Just 15 years ago we all paled at the thought of online banking, yet we are completely comfortable with it today. Yes, there will doubtless be further human error in years to come, but it should not stop the advancement of our health service by using the most modern methods available.”

Views from around primary care

“There's a lot of anxiety about the security of records with all these various projects.”
Peter Nicholas, managing partner at Hildenborough & Tonbridge Medical Group – a large multi-site GP practice in Kent serving a population of more than 16,000 patients

“It is very important that in our rush to embrace these opportunities we do not jeopardise the safety of patient data.”
Peter Hampson, director at the Association of Optometrists (AOP) and chair of the AOP IT Group

“I think it is important that the primary care setting continues to improve its security measures.”
Dr Richard Marques, Wimpole Street Dental and Aspire/Advance clinic director

“Putting our records in our own hands means we can choose to share information with clinicians wherever we are cared for.”
Dr Shaun O’Hanlon, chief medical officer at primary healthcare clinical software supplier EMIS Group

“We all paled at the thought of online banking, yet we are completely comfortable with it today.”
Andy Charlesworth, IT services manager at independent community pharmacy support organisation Numark