Are you ready for General Data Protection Regulation?BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k941 (Published 02 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k941
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Hurray for he GDPR. We are all data subjects during our lives. Our birth registration, NHS number, passport processing, tax, employment contracts etc are all supported by data processing. Health data processed by ourselves for our family or domestic purposes are not covered by the GDPR so it is wise to consider asking for and utilising copies of health and care data that has been processed about yourself during the course of care provision.
45% of complaints about the NHS received by the ombudsman have a component of poor communication involved, This poor communication is not just poor comunication with the patient but also with the family and friends. The GDPR provides an opportunity for patients to grant access to their records to their family and friends whilst the patient is ill. This process can be augmented by the use of health and welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney as described by a family solicitor in the Law Society PS magazine recently.
30% of medical records contain errors. Access rights will provide an opportunity for patients and families to correct them before they cause problems and not afterwards. This will be helpful for the NHS and Social Services as data begins to flow from one service to another and to the creation of the Summary care recortd which will amalgamate data from different sources. The patient is the only person tha attends each intervention that involves them so is h only person who can spot ommissions or errors (wrong person's letter in their notes for instance).
It is useful for health and social care professionals to remember that in the future patients and clients will be able to see all that the professionals write about them. As a GP who shared records with patients I was pleased that the patient could provide a safety net to reduce my errors and omissions in both the record and the care pathway vbefore they caused harm.
Competing interests: No competing interests