Access to personal health information (10) Personal health booklets (5)

13 July, 2020


Patients being able to have their own analogue or digital health records booklet and/or access to their digital medical record would support best clinical practice and public health practice

The Institute of Medicine (US) Committee of quality of Health Care in America created a report in 2001: “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A new Health System for the twenty first millennium.”

“The report found that the current system was unable to provide safe, high quality care in a consistent manner. It consisted of 10 rules to redesign the health system and a series of recommendations which would all be supported by patients being able to have their own analogue or digital health records booklet and/or access to their digital medical record:

New rules to redesign and improve care

1. "Care based on continuing healing relationships. Patients should receive care whenever they need it and in many forms, not just face-to-face visits. This rule implies that the health care system should be responsive at all times (24 hours a day, every day) and that access to care should be provided over the internet, by telephone, and by other means in addition to face-to-face visits.

2. Customisation based on patient needs and values. The system of care should be designed to meet the most common types of needs, but have the capability to respond to individual patient choices and preferences.

3. The patient as the source of control. Patients should be given the necessary information and the opportunity to exercise the degree of control they choose over the health care decisions that affect them. The health system should be able to accommodate differences in patient preferences and encourage shared decision-making.

4. Shared knowledge and the free flow of information. Patients should have unfettered access to their own medical information and to clinical knowledge. Clinicians and patients should communicate effectively and share information.

5. Evidence-based decision-making. Patients should receive care based on the best available scientific knowledge. Care should not vary illogically from clinician to clinician or from place to place.

6. Safety as a system property. Patients should be safe from injury caused by the care system. Reducing risk and ensuring safety require greater attention to systems that help prevent and mitigate errors.

7. The need for transparency. The health care system should make information available to patients and their families that allows them to make informed decisions when selecting a health plan, hospital, or clinical practice, or when choosing among alternative treatments. This should include information describing the system's performance on safety, evidence-based-practice, and patient satisfaction.

8. Anticipation of needs. The health system should anticipate patient needs, rather than simply responding to events.

9. Continuous decrease in waste. The health system should not waste resources or patient time.

10. Co-operation among clinicians. Clinicians and institutions should actively collaborate and communicate to ensure an appropriate exchange of information and co-ordination of care. "

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP, British Medical Association. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data

Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT