Patient Portal launched to let medical records be read online

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PATIENTS will be able to access their medical records online as part of a pilot scheme being launched in Scotland.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the Patient Portal project at a surgery in Ayrshire.

The scheme could be rolled out across the whole country if it proves successful.

Patients can log on to a secure website to access their records, view test results, book appointments and track their blood pressure.

The pilot will cut down on the need for frequent surgery visits and allow patients to access their records from the home or office.

Two GP practices, Townhead Surgery in Irvine and Kilwinning Medical Practice, are taking part in the six-month trial.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It will make life a great deal easier for patients, as well as supporting the delivery of the highest possible quality of primary care.

"One of our most important priorities is to make patients partners in their own care and this is exactly what the Patient Portal does.

"This is of course a pilot project but NHS Ayrshire and Arran's efforts may pave the way for the rest of Scotland.

"We want to use technology wherever we can to make our healthcare more efficient and more secure – what's known as eHealth. By building on the systems we already have, we also make the best use of taxpayers' money."

Dr Jim Campbell, from Townhead Surgery, said: "The system is secure and confidential and we are convinced that, following this pilot, our patients will welcome the option to order repeat prescriptions, set targets, track their blood sugar levels and monitor their blood pressure."

Recently some doctors have expressed concerns about the security of systems which allow medical staff to access patient records across different parts of the NHS, owing to fears about confidentiality being breached.