I went to a very interesting meeting on London’s NHS IT last night, very informative, with an interesting point that at present the roll out has been of stand-alone systems. When these are connected up, as is the master plan so to speak, that’s when worries about who will have access to patient records will really take hold. The principle is that it’s based on your NHS work role, but that generally means you will have greater access to records than you really need. And it will be a hugely complicated system to administer and audit. If you think the sex offenders in schools was a tough one then go figure the challenges faced by one of the largest organisations in the world – the NHS. This is why training and education will be as important as physical security measures for records – soft systems as well as hard systems if you like.
On the plus side when the IT system implemented by Connecting for Health does connect up it will provide a national databank of great value to medical researchers – once the problems over data confidentiality have been sorted out!