Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
The NHS is implementing a new summary care record (SCR) whereby all patients’ medical details are to be uploaded to a national
electronic database. The aim of the SCR is to improve the safety and quality of
patient care by giving staff easier access to reliable information about you.
Each patient’s SCR will be built up slowly - every time you use any NHS health service, details will be added to your SCR about health
problems, with summaries of your care and the professionals treating you. The
patient can discuss what is being added, how sensitive information is handled
and they will be asked for their permission before their SCR is consulted.
The question of patient’s privacy is one of the main objections to this scheme and it is noted in this article in the Telegraph that
tens of thousands of people with NHS smart cards could potentially access the records.
The NHS website heavily stresses that medical staff will only use your SCR with
your permission. The article also refers to a study by an independent group of
academics at University College London. The study found that although the
system will be designed to gather data from diverse sources, GPs' and hospital
notes and imaging, no one will be responsible for ensuring they are accurate or
The NHS have an informative website, with some nicely put together film clips showing how people from all aspects of healthcare will
benefit from the SCR. In one of these clips a participant says that the
technology is “as secure as we can make it”. But just how secure can they make
it and how easily can it be accessed?
The NHS guarantees confidentiality, security and accuracy here, which is enough for me. If you are concerned about your privacy you can
opt out. What do you think, will you be taking part and do you trust the