G7 patient access to health records: final report
The G& countries are Germany, Italy, France. Canada, Japan, USA, UK -
The report tabulates - in four columns - the status of each country in the four areas:
1. Citizens have a right to view online, download, print and share their health information
2. Citizens are encouraged to use their health information to manage their health
3. Citizens can contribute their information to their health record
4. Providers will offer online access to health information via appropriate patient-facing services (apps, portal, and so on)
Published 30 December 2021
Purpose of this report
This report confirms the commitment of the G7 countries to deliver on the rights of patients to have access to their health information. This commitment will:
- help empower patients to take an active part in managing their health and care
- support improvements in individuals’ health outcomes
- enable patients to ensure that clinicians have key relevant information about them before they start their treatment
The G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting communiqué [ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/g7-health-ministers-meeting-j... ] makes commitments on collaboration on several health initiatives, including a commitment to develop internationally shared principles for enabling patient access to health data, based on the principle of informed explicit consent or patient permission.
The G7 countries agreed 5 principles and ambitions that describe the desired direction of travel for increasing patient access to records as a means of patients taking more responsibility for and control of their own health and care:
1. Online access to records.
2. Use of own information to manage their health.
3. Patients contributing to their health record.
4. Offer online access to health information by healthcare providers.
5. Audit trail of who accessed the patient’s record.
The implementation of these principles in individual G7 countries will depend on local laws, healthcare structures and culture, but there is a genuine desire to make progress in this area for the benefit of patients, and to learn and get support from each other.
G7 commitment on digital health
The health ministers of the G7 countries met on 3 to 4 June in Oxford and signed a communiqué agreeing to collaborate on 4 Health Track themes. Ministers made the following commitments on digital health:
- recognition of the importance of digital health solutions in transforming healthcare, and of the need for appropriate data governance, system security, regulatory and data protection standards in order to benefit from advances in digital health
- commitment to working towards:
- adopting a standardised minimum health data set for patients’ health information, including through the International Patient Summary (IPS) standard [ https://www.cencenelec.eu/news-and-events/news/2021/eninthespotlight/202... ]
- developing internationally shared principles for enabling patient access to health data
- promoting the use of open standards for health data
- recognition of the need for multilateral collaboration on a standards-based, minimum data set for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and vaccination verification, and commitment to work within existing World Health Organization processes to develop this and to work as G7 countries towards a process of mutual acceptance of COVID-19 certificates
- recognition that governance of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the health sector must be strengthened in order to keep pace with technological development
- commitment to working together to define and develop a shared understanding of phases for how we clinically evaluate health AI algorithms, and develop and share best practices for benchmarking the suitability of a health AI algorithm developed in one G7 country for potential deployment in another
Patient access to health data
The following paragraph shows the full wording of the commitment as stated in the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting communique, 4 June 2021
[ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/g7-health-ministers-meeting-j... ]
We commit to work towards adopting a standardised minimum health data set for patients’ health information, including through the IPS standard, with the shared objectives of facilitating health interoperability within and between countries, developing internationally shared principles for enabling patient access to health data, based on the principle of informed explicit consent or patient permission and in keeping with countries’ and regional existing legislative frameworks; and facilitating and promoting the use of open standards for international health data to encourage the widest possible adoption of standards and greater interoperability. [...]
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 gmail.com