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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeCommunityHarrow patients get greater say in healthcare with access to medical records

Harrow patients get greater say in healthcare with access to medical records

Patients across Harrow are being given a bigger say in their healthcare thanks to the Care Information Exchange (CIE), which enables them to access and add to their medical records in the same way that health professionals can.

Fran Husson, a 79-year-old registered disabled patient with severe arthritis and hearing loss, is one of over 400,000 people in the region benefitting from CIE’s secure online access via a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Fran says that CIE has revolutionised her interaction with the healthcare system. “If you rewind several years, health and social care records weren’t joined up, and that was incredibly frustrating for patients like me who have a lot of interaction with the NHS,” she explains.

“It was chaotic and messy trying to keep track of everything and that was reflected in how much time was wasted repeating the same information over and over to different health professionals.”

Harrow patients get greater say in healthcare with access to medical records Harrow Online
Fran Husson. Credit: London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust

Fran adds that having access to her Personal Health Record (PHR) has changed all that. “I could log on and access a wealth of information from clinic appointments and results to blood test results, radiology reports, and care plans,” she says.

“The ability to interact and exchange information with medical staff has made a huge difference to the care I receive. They just click on the CIE button in their electronic health records and they have an up-to-date record of me. I would find it impossible to self-manage my various morbidities without such a tool, and my caregivers would also spend more time treating me if they didn’t have easy access to up-to-date information.”

CIE is powered by Patients Know Best, a social enterprise company, with funding provided by Imperial Health Charity. The CIE empowers patients with the ability to add relevant information outside the parameters of CIE, such as an optometrist or dentist, and allows them to keep track of all their medications.

The ability to access and add to medical records is providing patients with more agency in their care, making it easier for them to manage their conditions and ensuring that health professionals have the most up-to-date information available. This is particularly important for patients at Northwick Park Hospital, who rely on the hospital for complex medical care and treatments.