Write access to Electronic Health Records and SCR

Write access to Electronic Health Records and SCR

The Department of Health Information Strategy – The Power of Information indicated that the Government would enable an infrastructure to support patients to share copies of their electronic health records with people and organisations of their choice who can help in understanding and managing their health and care. PSNC is supportive of this goal. With patient consent, providing community pharmacists with appropriate role-based read and write access to electronic patient records has the potential to greatly improve patient safety, support the development of new services for patients, improve interdisciplinary working and increase the quality of care provided to patients. Equally, allowing other professionals to have access to the records made by pharmacists could support the continuity of patient care.

PSNC is supportive of the commitment made in the Information Strategy to set common standards to enable information to flow effectively around the health system, however given that healthcare services are provided in a competitive marketplace, there is also a need for controls to ensure equitable access to information, where patients consent. Where access to information is needed to provide a particular service, blocking access, for example using technical or financial barriers, could be used as a tool to preclude competition. Controls need to be put in place to ensure that information about NHS patients can be effectively accessed by different providers where a patient has consented.


Currently, only the patient’s GP practice can add information to the SCR. Work has started on a pilot to investigate the potential for information to also be added by the pharmacy (aka read / write access), providing read only access at the moment.



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