• Records access

    “Getting started with records access”, “Data quality” and “Detailed coded record”

    The GMS contract and PMS agreement for 2015-2016 require practices to promote and offer their registered patients online access to all coded data in their GP records, referred to as their detailed coded record by April 2016. This section contains guidance on the benefits of online records access, clarifies the criteria for data quality and explains the impact of access to detailed coded records for patients and practice.

    Why get ready for online records access?

    The guidance summarises the benefits to patients and practices on online records access, explains the preparations you have to make, including practice data quality, what patients can access and patient and practice responsibilities. 

    Offering online access may require significant resources in terms of GP and administrator time. There is no LES or DES funding for this time and practices have to balance online access provision against the other calls on their time. It may be appropriate to restrict the number of patients that you register a month, to match the available resources. If this is done, practices should be open with patients about the reasons for the restriction and when they are likely to get online access to their notes.

    Data quality

    Whether a record is fit for purpose can be assessed by the extent to which it meets the various purposes that the record is used for and falls under the following five headings: completeness, accuracy, relevance, accessibility and timeliness (CARAT).

    The guidance document explains how Patient Online has changed the criteria for a high quality electronic patient record and offers recommendations on how practices may respond to this challenge including how to create good quality records for online access and how to maintain data quality.

    Detailed coded record

    This guidance explains what patients may be able to see in their detailed coded record and the impact that may have on their healthcare and the practice. It also touches on information governance, data quality and transfer of electronic patient records.

    See below for the three guidance documents and supporting material including a checklist, patient information leaflet and example patient registration form.

    Getting started with records access - guidance for general practice:

    • Getting started with records access - guidance for general practice: PDF
    • Data quality - guidance for general practice: PDF
    • Detailed coded record - guidance for general practice: PDF

    Getting started with records access - supporting material:

    “Identity verification” and “Protecting patients and practices” eLearning – available here (free registration/ login required)