Sharing your health records FAQs
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We want to make sure that whether you are visiting a GP, attending hospital, or being seen by a health professional in the community, that everyone knows the care you need and how you want to be treated.
All the information about the care and treatment we provide you is held on a health record, your health record is stored electronically on a secure system.
To ensure you receive the best treatment, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust wants to share your electronic health record with other health and social care services that care for you, we understand that you may have lots of questions about this; and have made the below list of frequently asked questions to help answer some of these.
Please remember you can always talk to the person providing you with care or treatment at the Trust to find out more.
How do I opt-in or out of sharing my records?
You can choose whether you want your health records sharing with other health and social care services. Talk to the person providing you with care or treatment at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust about how you would like your information to be shared.
They will update your health record and make sure that the necessary permissions are enabled for you.
What are the benefits of sharing my health record?
Sharing your health record will mean that everyone who provides your care will have the information they need, when they need it. We will all use the same information to make sure you get the best health and social care services we can provide.
• You get the right treatment for your mental and physical health
• Everyone has the same information they need to treat you
• It will reduce how often you need to repeat information to people.
Without sharing being available, other professionals involved in your care would need to wait for information, which could cause delay in providing you with treatment, care or medication.
If I haven’t chosen to share my record and I have a medical emergency, will the services treating me be able to access my record?
If you are being treated in a medical emergency by a service that uses the same, or compatible clinical record system as the Trust (SystmOne), then certain clinicians will be able to override your refusal to share either with your permission or, if you are unable to give your permission; because it would be in your best medical interests to do so.
Any override of your sharing settings is strictly monitored to ensure that it is appropriate and done in the best interests of your care.
I am happy to share my record with other health and care services but there are some things that I would prefer to keep confidential between me and my healthcare professional. Can I do that?
You can ask your healthcare professional at the Trust to mark individual items on your record as private. When your full record is shared, the private information will not be visible to any other service.
Healthcare professionals are used to receiving these requests, and may have already marked parts of your record as private if they feel it’s inappropriate to share, so please don’t be afraid to ask.
If I choose not to share my record, what information will other health and care services involved in my care be able to see?
If you choose not to share your record, the only information other health and care services that are involved in your care will be able to see is basic demographic data such as your name, date of birth, address and your registered GP practice.
This availability of only basic information is why we encourage you to opt into sharing.
What is included in my health record?
Your health record includes details of your appointments and includes information about medications you are taking, test results and any allergies you may have.
It will include details about any medication that hasn’t agreed with you in the past, details of any health conditions which mean you shouldn’t have certain medicines and any factors which need to be considered when planning your care.
Will other services be able to see everything on my record?
For another health or social care service to view your record, they must have registered you under their care and have gained your consent to view your record. If you give permission they will be able to see your full record except for any items you have asked your healthcare professional to mark as private.
Your records will only be shared with services that provide you with care or treatment, and on a need to know basis.
Will insurance companies and private healthcare companies have access to my shared record?
No. Only health and social care organisations directly caring for you and using a compatible electronic health record system will have access to your shared health record.
Can I change my mind about sharing my record?
Yes. You can change your mind at any time. Let the person providing you with care or treatment at the Trust know if you want to change your original choice, and they will record your preference in the computer system.
Why is sharing of my heath record not set automatically? Why do I have to opt-in?
The electronic patient record adopts a “consent at the point of care” model. If consent is refused or not asked, then the clinician will not be able to view the record.
What security is in place for my health record?
All computer software systems used by health and social care must conform to stringent national safety standards. This is the health records guarantee. The system itself runs on a secure network which is separate from the internet so cannot be compromised from unauthorised access.
For another service to view your record they must be using a compatible clinical system, similar to the one we use at the Trust.
They have to ask your permission to view your record. You also must be registered for treatment with them.
The healthcare staff viewing your health record use a smartcard which looks like a credit/bank card. The chip on the card authorises them for a certain level of access so they can only see the level of detail required for them to carry out their job role in support of your care and treatment.
The system also has a tamper-proof audit trail that shows the name, time and date of any access to a health record. It also will show any data added, changed or deleted to ensure appropriate and safe use.
Your GP practice would also be alerted when you receive care elsewhere – unless you have asked them not to disclose this information.