Online Services Records Access
Patient information ‘It’s your choice’
If you wish to, you can now use the internet to book appointments with a GP, request repeat prescriptions for any medications you take regularly and look at your medical record online. You can also still use the telephone or call in to the surgery for any of these services as well. It’s your choice.
Being able to see your record online might help you to manage your medical conditions. It also means that you can even access it from anywhere in the world should you require medical treatment on holiday. If you decide not to join or wish to withdraw, this is your choice and practice staff will continue to treat you in the same way as before. This decision will not affect the quality of your care.
You will be given login details, so you will need to think of a password which is unique to you. This will ensure that only you are able to access your record – unless you choose to share your details with a family member or carer.
The practice has the right to remove online access to services for anyone that doesn’t use them responsibly.
It will be your responsibility to keep your login details and password safe and secure. If you know or suspect that your record has been accessed by someone that you have not agreed should see it, then you should change your password immediately.
If you can’t do this for some reason, we recommend that you contact the practice so that they can remove online access until you are able to reset your password.
If you print out any information from your record, it is also your responsibility to keep this secure. If you are at all worried about keeping printed copies safe, we recommend that you do not make copies at all.
Before you apply for online access to your record, there are some other things to consider.
Although the chances of any of these things happening are very small, you will be asked that you have read and understood the following before you are given login details.
There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.
Abnormal results or bad news
If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting to you. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them.
Choosing to share your information with someone
It’s up to you whether or not you share your information with others – perhaps family members or carers. It’s your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure.
If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, it is best that you do not register for access at this time.
Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood. If you require further clarification, please contact the surgery for a clearer explanation.
Information about someone else
If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.
For more information about keeping your healthcare records safe and secure, you will find a helpful leaflet produced by the NHS in conjunction with the British Computer Society:
Keeping your online health and social care records safe and secure http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Documents/PatientGuidanceBooklet.pdf
Please note that any enquiries related to your online record should be addressed in writing to the Practice Manager.
Online services: Identity Verification
Any patient registered with the practice may book an appointment ‘slot’ online at any time by completing the system’s online registration process. This does not require verification of the applicant’s identity.
Identity verification and registration for online services
Before services in addition to online appointment booking are enabled, the patient’s identity must be verified either by vouching or presentation of appropriate documents (see Cabinet Office Good Practice Guide No. 45 (2013)). Ordering of repeat prescriptions, appointment booking and demographics are enabled by the practice when each patient is registered for online access following identity verification.
Online records access must be authorised by a GP or other designated member of the practice team before this is enabled for a registered online user. A GP may wish to review the record and discuss the content with the patient prior to authorising access.
‘Vouching’ in the event of any patient’s inability to provide suitable documentary proof, takes into account:
- the period of time an individual has been known to the person designated for vouching
- the frequency of attendance
- the period of registration.
Vouching – with records confirmation
When an applicant is not known sufficiently well by an authorised member of staff for them to be vouched for on this basis, their identity may be verified by obtaining responses to questions for information held in the medical records. This should take place discreetly and ideally in the context of a planned appointment. It is extremely important that the questions posed do not incidentally disclose confidential information to the applicant before their identity is verified.
Presentation of documents
Two documents need to be presented when a patient’s identity is verified, at least one of which should contain a photo of the individual. The documents should be checked for consistency, and the applicant compared to the image on the photo ID. Any two of the following three documents are acceptable: passport, driving license, bank statement.
Alternatives should be checked against the government approved list of acceptable documents.
Recording of identity evidence
Identity verification follows legal, professional and ethical standards. The name of the person verifying an applicant’s identity, the method used and date should be recorded in the patient’s records. This can be achieved by scanning in the completed application form.
Access verification Lead
- oversight of the access management process
- identification of other roles
- leading incident investigation
Identity verification by presentation of documents
Individuals who are authorised to verify the identity of applicants by presentation of documents:
Individuals who are authorised to vouch for the identity of applicants:
Registration and consent for online services
Individuals authorised to register users on the system for access to online services, and also manage credentials including passwords:
Authorisation for additional online services including records access
Individuals authorised to review applications for services in addition to appointment booking, repeat prescription and demographics. (Records access is not enabled by default and requires a specific action on the system.)
Authorisation of proxy access1
Individuals authorised to approve applications by carers or other third parties:
The following are practice staff with roles in enabling online services for patients:
1 * Proxy access is the inclusive term which describes provision of access to a patient’s parents, relatives and/or carer(s) so they can book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and/or view the medical record on the patient’s behalf.