Episode 116: The consequences of online access to patient records – what are the views of practice staff?

In this episode, we talk to Dr Gail Davidge and Dr Brian McMillan, who are both based at the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research at the University of Manchester.

Title of paper: Putting principles into practice: A qualitative exploration of the views and experiences of primary care staff regarding patients having online access to their electronic health record

Available at:

Previous research has noted primary care staff concerns about patients having online access to their health record, relating to issues such as: workload, safeguarding, patient confusion or distress, and health inequities. This study provides additional insights in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and in the light of NHS England’s plans to enable full prospective records access for patients by default. Findings highlight that most primary care staff agree with patient records access in principle, and can see its potential benefits, but remain concerned about the impact on patient centred care, safeguarding, and how to navigate this change. This study underlines the need for additional training and support for primary care staff to adapt their practice so they can address the needs of patients and protect patient safety and well-being whilst maintaining the clinical integrity of health records.

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