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Electronic Patient Record & The Sharing of Information

A Patient's Guide

Please read this page carefully. It will give you information about the sharing of your electronic patient record and the choices you need to make.


Today, electronic records are kept in all the places where you receive healthcare. These places can usually only share information from your records by letter, email, fax or phone. At times, this can slow down your treatment and mean information is hard to access.

Your care service, however, uses a unique computer system called SystmOne that allows the sharing of full electronic records across different healthcare services.

We are telling you about this as you register with a new NHS care service so that you can think about your choices:

You can choose to share your electronic record with other care services.

You can choose not to share your electronic record with other care services.

How is My Decision Recorded?

SystmOne has two settings to allow you to control how your medical information is shared:

  1. Sharing OUT
    This controls whether your information entered at this service can be shared with other NHS services (ie made shareable)
  2. Sharing IN
    This controls whether information that has been made shareable at other NHS care services can be viewed by this care service or not (ie shared)

How Does This Work?

Imagine you're receiving care from 3 different NHS services: your GP, a District Nurse and a smoking clinic. You want your GP and nurse to share information with each other and your want both of them to know your progress at the smoking clinic. However you don't want the smoking clinic to see any of your other medical information.

Your sharing settings would be:

computer that says shared patient record being viewed by a GP and a District Nurse

The GP can share information IN and OUT.
The district nurse can share IN and OUT.
The smoking clinic can only share information OUT but not IN.

When you are first or next seen at the care service, you'll be asked the following questions:

  1. Do you consent to the information that is recorded about you here being made available to other NHS care services that care for you and also use SystmOne?

    If you answer YES
    Clinicians at other services that care for you and use SystmOne will be able to see the information recorded here. For example, a district nurse that visits you would be able to see the data entered by your GP.

    If you answer NO
    The Clinician will be prevented from sharing the information entered here with other services caring for you.

  2. Do you consent to allow this care service to view information about you that has been recorded at other services where you also receive care? (You must have separately consented for information to be 'shared out' of those services)

    If you answered YES
    This care service will be able to view information recorded on your patient record by other NHS services.

    If you answered NO
    This care service will not see any information recorded at any other NHS service (even if those services have the consent to share information out).

Note: You can still request for individual entries in your patient record to be marked as 'Private'. These will not be visible at any care services other that the one that recorded the information.

Why is This Necessary?

These settings allow you to decide who can see the information on your electronic record. It also allows for joined up care across different NHS settings which gives the best care and service to you.

Note: In some serious situations, for example if you are unconscious, clinicians will be able to access your electronic record without first asking your permission. Use of this is monitored.

Don't Forget

These settings apply to any NHS service using SystmOne where you are currently receiving care. You can also change your sharing preferences at any time - just speak to a member of staff at this care service.

Your Clinician should go through this leaflet in detail with you - if you have any additional questions, just ask!

What is SystmOne?

SystmOne is a clinical computer system produced by a company called TPP. It lets NHS staff record patient information securely onto a computer. This information can then be shared with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history, including medication and allergies.

SystmOne is currently used in GP practices, Child Health services, Community services, Prisons, Hospitals, Urgent Care & Out of Hours services, Palliative care services and many more.


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