Intended for healthcare professionals


Electronic sharing of patients’ data requires their explicit consent, report says

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1090
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

The NHS says it will continue to deploy electronically shareable summaries of health records in England, despite an independent evaluation’s criticism of the way it obtains the consent of patients.

The study of the experiences of four “early adopter” primary care trusts in implementing the electronic summary care record finds fault with several aspects of the culture and methods of the controversial national programme for IT in the English NHS. The report, published last week, criticises the programme’s “narrow and instrumental focus on implementing a technology” rather than on broader change.

However, the report’s authors reserve equal ire for the programme’s critics in lobby groups and sections of the press for contributing to “demonisation” through “a lamentable lack of criticality,” which …

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