The shared electronic medical record: not much use, and still, more harm than good

At least that’s what I’m concluding from this BMJ paper “Adoption and non adoption of a shared electronic summary record in England: A mixed-method case study.” The authors examined many instances of the record being used and decided that it didn’t seem to improve safety, but that it might rarely avoid medication errors. And that it was all very complicated: not something that I find surprising.

To reiterate : I don’t like shared care records because: 1) no specific consent has been obtained from patients to have their data uplifted 2) it is very difficult to opt-out 3) there is no clear need for this information to be available in the form it is being offered in and 4) there is no one person ‘in charge’ of governing access to it, and almost a million NHS staff who would have access to it, despite whatever safeguards you might think are in place and 5) it is expensive, of unproven cost effectiveness, and there are many better places to spend the money.

Ross Anderson writes a good view here: and the big opt-out is here.

5 Responses to “The shared electronic medical record: not much use, and still, more harm than good”

  1. Martin Budden June 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Another problem is the lack of confirmation when opting out. I opted out months ago, but have had no confirmation that my opt-out form has been processed. I don’t really want to bother my GP just to confirm that my opt-out has been actioned, but I have this nagging worry that it may have been lost in the system somewhere.

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