Bury Knowle Health Centre, one of the ERDIP pilot sites for patient access to electronic records, is testing out a new software module that enables access via the internet.

Bury Knowle is in the process of contacting patients to invite them to discuss the issues and processes involved in accessing their records. Those who want to proceed will be given a randomly-generated PIN number which they will use with their NHS number and a password. They will be able to view their records online and make changes which will be sent to the health centre to be updated by one of the practice staff.

Torex Health who developed the software, Premiere Synergy, will be working with the centre’s staff to develop the module which allows patients to access their records at a terminal in the centre or via the internet in their own homes.

Justin Amery, a partner at the centre, said, “The clinical advantages are clear. Anything that gives the professional more information is going to be beneficial and the more people who are checking the data and validating it, the less room there is for error. The patients effectively act as partners to the practice, helping us check and validate our medical records.

”There’s also a strong personal benefit for the patients as they are more empowered and in control and this can be particularly important if they are feeling vulnerable and anxious.”