A minimal number of GP practices provide their patients with access to electronic health records (EHRs), it is claimed.
Research by think tank 2020Health into the take up of Personal Health Records shows just one in 100 GP surgeries offer patients EHRs.
It was found those patients who have adopted the electronic servicehave “far fewer” security concerns than those patients who do not use it.
The DH expects 5% of practices will be offering EHRs by 2015. However, the report suggests “significant work” is needed in terms of infrastructure and cultural changes to reach even this “modest goal”.
“More and people rely on the internet for business, banking, shopping and learning, so it shouldn’t be too much of a step change to move towards personalised health Apps and online patient record management,” said John Cruickshank, Independent Telehealth Consultant and author of the 2020Health report.
”The benefits of electronic records access are most palpable to those living with chronic conditions or disability, whose care accounts for 70 per cent of all NHS spending.
“What’s most important here is that in order for such a system to work, a major change in culture and attitude is required. Patients need to move from being passive recipients of care to being much more involved in its planning and management. The evidence increasingly suggests that patients who engage in this way enjoy far better health outcomes.”
More than half of patients polled said they already used the internet to assist in monitoring their health with doctors claiming they are increasingly experiencing patients arriving for an appointment having already searched their symptoms on the internet.