Select country
Membership information
0800 561 9000
Medicolegal advice
0800 561 9090
Refine my search

Online medical records and the doctor-patient partnership

Post date: 04/07/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 19/07/2018

Written by a Senior Professional


Patient access to online health records has the potential to transform patient care. Greater access to information for patients can increase knowledge and understanding, promote autonomy and informed choice and enhance the doctor–patient partnership.

In order to realise these advantages, great care needs to be taken to manage the associated risks. MPS is acutely aware of the importance of keeping sensitive information confidential and has significant experience of the risks facing patients if their information is not protected. 

We have contributed to the RCGP’s implementation plan for GP practices – Patient Online: The Road Map1 – and support the principle of their pragmatic phased approach.

We have also contributed to the Information Governance Review2 led by Dame Fiona Caldicott, which will play an important role in informing safeguards for patient information. But success will require the engagement and participation of individual doctors and patients across the country. 

This report sets out MPS’s research into what the public and doctors think.3 Our research shows it is not enough to just equip patients with the ability to access their medical records online and inform them of their rights; patients also need to be supported and informed about how to understand and use their information safely, appropriately and effectively.

We are concerned that the need for this support has not been given adequate consideration and think it should be an essential component of implementation plans from the outset.

The current rhetoric around the new services patients will have does not reflect the emerging implementation plans, or what is practical. This could mean that the promise of online medical records will merely serve to widen the gap between what patients expect from their healthcare and the reality of what can be delivered.

View a PDF of this report

Useful Links

MPS research reports
Learn about our current campaigns and research

Share this article

Load more reviews

You've already submitted a review for this item

New site feature tour

Introducing an improved
online experience

You'll notice a few things have changed on our website. After asking our members what they want in an online platform, we've made it easier to access our membership benefits and created a more personalised user experience.

Why not take our quick 60-second tour? We'll show you how it all works and it should only take a minute.

Take the tour Continue to site

Medicolegal advice
0800 561 9090
Membership information
0800 561 9000

Key contact details

Should you need to contact us, our phone numbers are always visible.

Personalise your search

We'll save your profession in the "I am a..." dropdown filter for next time.

Tour completed

Now you've seen all of the updated features, it's time for you to try them out.

Continue to site
Take again